Lobstergirl's Reviews > The Calling

The Calling by Inger Ash Wolfe
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's review
Aug 11, 2010

it was ok
bookshelves: mystery-thriller, fiction
Recommended for: Binti Jua
Read from August 15 to 16, 2010

Inger Ash Wolfe is the pseudonym for "a North American literary novelist," so I was curious to see a (presumably) skilled novelist put his or her genre instincts to work. It was a disappointment.

There were way too many characters and names introduced at the outset. By page 23, 23 characters had either been met in person, or mentioned (including two named Gord); some of those mentioned would later appear, others didn't. By the end of the book, this number had more than doubled. All the expected police department cliches were present: the main investigating detective is always going off the reservation, superiors are disliked, superiors refuse to allocate additional needed resources, there is bickering and discontent among the two lead detectives, guns get confiscated. There were elements of some Latinate (but new, cultish, and utterly wacked-out) religion that seemed to be attempting to replicate the mystique of other Church-related murder mysteries from authors like Umberto Eco and Dan Brown, rather unsuccessfully. I understand how some of these cultish beliefs relate to the murders, but remain confused on others.

We know who the killer is from page 1. The only mystery is motive and how it will all unravel. There is ambiguity; are these mercy killings, or murders? There is the unique aspect of a killer who smells like Juicy Fruit from his body producing ketones as he starves (yet still has the strength to carry out some awfully athletic murders), and the novelty of a detective-heroine who is 61 years old, virtually alcoholic, and in near constant back pain.
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Reading Progress

08/15/2010 page 196
05/04/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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Janet Aileen I have not finished the book yet, but have been wondering why so many people called it a "can't put down" read. Your review solidifies my feelings.

Nice job, Lobstergirl!

Lobstergirl Thanks, Janet.

message 3: by Marilu (last edited Dec 20, 2010 10:51PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Marilu I am reading this now,I am only half way through so far, and while I did not count 23 characters introduced that early on, I did count about 20. Not only were there 2 Gord's mentioned, but later on closer to the 100 pg mark, ANOTHER Gord! I have never really seen that done in a novel before. I guess there are always people that have the same name, for example it is likely we all know more than one John or Michael, but in a novel, I find it a bit annoying. None of them have a major role in the story (or at least not yet), which is probably why it bothered me, because I had to go back and see if it was one of the same Gord s that was being mentioned!
Another thing....who is Marty? When Hazel has dinner with her ex husband she asks about Marty, and she is also mentioned another time as well. I am assuming she is their daughter, but it was never mentioned at all! That was annoying!
edited to add : pg 229 -she refers to her daughter Martha. Now it makes sense who Marty is.

And ANOTHER Gordon is mentioned! Peter and Simon's dad Gordon Mallick.

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