Most helpful critical review
Too easy a caper by far - unsatisfying ending
on 19 February 2015
(I found it unavoidable to do so, so please take on board - Spoiler Alert - this review covers at least the basics of the tale including its ending)
I finished this in a day, and scratched my head after reading the last word. It is bright and breezy all through and a little light; usually I have no problem with either, but this is so light there's bits missing!
The tale concerns the insurance investigation that follows the theft of a wine collection worth well over 2 million dollars US. The trouble is, the investigator, former crook Sam Levitt, simply has it all too easy. After a little trouble finding suspects, he then has a breakthrough, and then, very mystifyingly in my opinion, simply breezes through the tale. Everything he tries whether legal, dodgy or illegal, works. No one pops up to say 'Welcome to my home, Mr Levitt, I've been expecting you'; no terrible bad luck, no terrible mistakes, no supporting cast either killed or maimed - not that I want that as such, but its total absence to any degree (not even a broken leg or a sore head) is simply not good enough.
To make matters worse, there's no actual wrapping up at the end, especially with regard to whether we have one major player, or two or more across continents. Again - simply not good enough.
I have no idea on Mr Mayle's back catalogue, nor his future writing plans. Am I going to find out based upon this book? Nope.