Top critical review
24 people found this helpful
Atmospheric but ultimately disappointing
on 20 November 2010
This book has an atmospheric setting of the Shetland Isles but although it flows along quite smoothly, it felt both overly familiar in its plotting and lacking somewhat in its characterisation. I especially found it difficult to distinguish between Kenny and Martin, both men involved on the periphery of the murder, most men passionately in love with their wives, with not enough done to separate them. Similarly, keeping the relationships straight in terms of ages and who was related to whom made this a bit of a struggle.
The revelations at the end were the type that always appear in this kind of novel (adulteries, love affairs, hidden secrets within a small community), and I really didn't believe the solution at all which was utterly unconvincing for me. The opening scene, too, which was very dramatic and done with an emotional intensity, just got washed away in the final solution in a 'well, he was just joking' kind of way which I found unsatisfying.
So this is a competent enough read, atmospheric in parts, but ultimately a bit disappointing.