Barbara Wilson: The Dog Collar Murders
The book takes you back to those days of clear distinction between goodies and baddies, the Nicaragua solidarity movement and the ideological self-conscious feminist anti-porn activists of the 1980s. This side of the book is utterly amusing if you still remember how it then was. This feminist world�s atmosphere of prudishness, sexual inhibition translated into anti-porn activity, the bigotry and fear of sex, the McCarthyish, almost fascist readiness to oppress other opinions by all means. It is amusing because this ideology never gained much power in society � if it had, the book would be guilty of making things look more harmless than they were.
However the book is meant to be a detective story. And as such it is utterly boring because one third of it are theoretical discussions that make the book look like a rather shallow essay on feminism and sexual exploitation and pornography etc. It is possible to mix detective stories with political messages. But it has to be very well done to be convincing. Read the books by Sjöwall/Waalhöö and T. Mankell (both are Swedish but widely translated) if you want to see what I mean.
Wilson�s story line is unrefined, the language unimaginative and schematic. Although the murderer is only predictable from about the beginning of the last third of the book, the final revelation does not satisfy � because the personalities are so poorly drawn that they give no feeling for them as persons. And so unmasking on of them as murderer does not mean much �even at this stage the person, i.e. after over 200 pp is not much more than a name on paper. Wilson in this book compares herself to Agatha Christie � a bit presumptuous. A huge bit, actually.