Top positive review
4 people found this helpful
Master and disciple
on 2 January 2014
Seen the lot on TV (many times over) but this was my second novel. Far greater detail on Morse himself, especially the back-story about his youth (script ideas for 'Endeavour', anyone?). Even more surprising was the time devoted to develop the character of Lewis whom I had dismissed as a blank sheet of paper in 'Last Seen Wearing'.
One surprise is the frequently used 'crime-writing' technique adopted by Mr Dexter. He seems to have discovered Mary Roberts Rinehart and the 'Had I But Known' school of writing. Numerous examples of '..if he would have found out then....' and, 'neither of them realised then what would have happened if..'. I assume this is just for this novel rather than the whole series.
There are some lovely pieces. The description of Lewis as ,'an unsuspecting catalyst' was just perfect. Likewise I liked the description of Morse as 'spouting improbable notions in the certainty that by the law of averages some might be near the truth'. This explains one of the frustrations with Morse; he gets it wrong so many times before gloriously getting it right.
A single-sitting read. The story progresses at the archetypal leisurely pace and is only spolied by the sudden torrent of exposition condensed into little more than a page and a half. At the moment I feel Mr Dexter's strengths may be Morse and Oxford rather than as a pure crime writer. Thankfully there are several more books to discover.