Most helpful critical review
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Compellingly written, but falls down in the home stretch
on 5 November 2007
I hadn't read any Hutson in a while so I was pleased to see that he's retained his short, clipped style which rockets forward at a nice pace. Things kick off with an exciting police chase through London, though with another Detective Inspector who behaves like a law unto himself and predictably doesn't get punished for it, then the book follows a series of murders in seemingly impossible circumstances ( doors locked from the inside, no witnesses, no fingerprints, etc ).
Hutson's greatest strength is that he doesn't waste a word, which always makes you feel like you can read a little bit more, then before you know it you're up to the last twenty pages. Others may prize him for his gore but it's quite samey here, the first bloody murder scene does shock a little but after that it's business as usual. Blood becomes so normal you just accept it and move on, and there's few of the affecting descriptions of bullets or blugeons wreaking havoc on the human body as to add to the mystery we're never there when the crimes are comitted.
It all works well, right up until the twist is revealed, then things go downhill very rapidly. You feel cheated, all that investment on your part and carefully built suspense was leading to this? The book deserves a better final third because a good deal of it is quite solid, it's just a shame that the last stretch of it almost makes you forget that.