Sue Bridehead (A Pseudonym)'s Reviews > The Lake of Dead Languages

The Lake of Dead Languages by Carol Goodman
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's review
Sep 14, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: novels, gothic, northeast
Read in September, 2010

I really enjoyed this gothic page-turner. Goodman is a fantastic, atmospheric writer, even if she does over-rely on a few techniques: characters are constantly paling or blushing; shadows are constantly splitting off from rocks.

In the last few chapters, my attention attenuated a bit, since I'd solved all the mystery elements (thanks to her skilled deployment of dramatic irony) much, much sooner than the narrator, who's, shall we say, not the sharpest tool in the shed.

The ending was a little pat for my taste, a bit too Oliver Twist. I didn't need the pretty little postscript bow stuck on to this big, lurid box of north woods noir. It cheapened it somehow. A few loose ends might have been more satisfying.

But maybe I'd feel more charitable about the pace and outcome of the last few chapters if I hadn't stayed up until 1:30 a.m. to finish the book.

That's a good thing. I rarely stay up late to finish books. This is in good company, along with Dark Places (Gillian Flynn) and Jude the Obscure (a potboiler in its own way).
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