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Everything but a likeable detective...
on 22 February 2010
I've read all of Martin's books from the first and like so many of the other reviews, I am struggling to actually LIKE Jim Stringer. It is the first time really, that I have encountered a series of detective books in which I actively wish the detective would go somewhere else... Sadly, as they are all written in the first person, this is not a possibility!
However, Martin really can write, and some of his descriptions are superb, the atmosphere can be nicely evocative and I am not worried about his knowledge - or otherwsie- of Bradshaw's guide, but do enjoy the period locomotives etc. It is worth mentioning that for books marketed as railway detective fiction, they can at times, be a little thin on railway (especially Murder on a Branchline.)
They are still enjoyable, a good read, but I do wish Jim Stringer would start acting like a policeman, allow us to hear his thoughts, reasoning, deductive powers (does he have any of these?) and have actual conversations, rather than truncated exchanges. If only Martin had take the 3rd person 'voice'. then his fascinating creation of 'the wife' could be allowed to blossom, as she is by far and away the best part of the books.
For all that, I am still looking forward to more from Martin...