Most helpful positive review
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Deep and delightful character development and character interplay coupled with cultured superb writing
on 9 May 2014
A 4.5 star read, my first by this author. Superb character development. Juxtaposed against each other, the contrasting and deeply developed characters of Morse and Lewis (in many ways one as different from the other as the day from the night) and their unfolding relationship with each other are a delight to read. The characters and their interplay are cleverly and very skilfully developed through witty and sharp dialog and well written spells of internal monologue.
The characters dipped periodically into other minor characters' POVs and hopped through minor characters' heads unnecessarily, for which I take half a star off. These dips into and hops through POVs should have been edited out. I also wondered why one party of the pair was not arrested as accessory to the crime at the end, but allowed to go free because the author seemingly have a soft spot for this person. This would not happen in real life in England.
A few more minor mistakes: The police have master keys to any house in England and do not have to break down any doors. Every lock in England is manufactured or sold so that a set of master keys available to the police can open any door. Furthermore, no suspect can be questioned without first been given the Miranda warning, or their prosecution will fail. Also in a murder investigation generally the senior officer will lead the interviews.
The writing is superb and literary - at a level perfect for a mystery. The plot is layered and complex so that it keeps the reader guessing and on the edge of the seat all the time, but it is somewhat contrived at times. The prose as well as the plot is intellectual and cultured and the characters so deep that it got one really emotionally involved. A little humor makes one laugh out loud. I knew the story was great when about half way through the book it made me incapable of any other work and I had to lie to take a sick day off work to finish reading the book. So engrossing were the characters and the storyline I could not bear to put the book down for anything - even for my job or for meals.
Deep, delightful, and emotionally engaging character development is the best thing about this book. This is coupled with superb, cultured, and literary writing enhanced by a complex and intellectually challenging plot to deliver a cracking read. I have already bought 3 more books in the series to read soon.