Huw’s review of Started Early, Took My Dog (Jackson Brodie, #4) > Likes and Comments

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message 1: by Huw (last edited Jun 07, 2013 04:33AM) (new)

Huw Rhys I'm sure there was a good detective novel trying to emerge from this morass, somewhere...

But it was hidden between too many unecessary characters, too many unfinished tales, too many completely pointless streams of consciousness, too many attempts at being a South American "magic" novel of the 1970's/ 1980's, too much cataloguing of "nasty murders that happened up north", and too many ridiculous coincidences - just too much fog and unfinished waffle in general.

Cut it down by 100 pages or so and tidy it up, cut a lot of the characters and it would have been a decent read. As it was, it rambled too much, it had far too many unecessary characters and just more words than it needed.

Parts of it were written really well though;some of the action was taut, some of the characterization believable and attractive, and there really was a decent story hidden in here somewhere. It just had the feeeling that it lacked a really good editor who would have cut away a lot of the chaffe that sadly ruined what might have been a good yarn. Shame.

message 2: by Carol (new)

Carol Cooper I agree with you, Huw. Far too much stream of consciousness. And was the editor too scare to cut because it's by the esteemed Kate Atkinson? I loved her other books, but I'm not enjoying this one as much. At least, not yet. Still some psges to go.

message 3: by Ron (new)

Ron Perhaps it wasn't a detective novel. Perhaps it was about how surprising love can be, what it requires, and what it demands. Perhaps it was really a portrait of a part of British society, or a vision of how that society appears to people trying to be good in what they see as a corrupt and amoral world.
And you gotta admit, the kid Courtney was a hoot. Her stealing Brodie's Virgin Mary statue out of his stolen car for her backpack treasure chest was a perfect detail.

message 4: by Roger (new)

Roger Gordon You've nailed it Huw. It's what happens when an author tries to add layer upon layer of complexity into what could have been an interesting storyline. It may please the author but loses the reader.

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