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Customer Review

2.0 out of 5 stars Sorry, but not for me, 6 Feb. 2012
This review is from: Criminal Conversation (Bloomsbury Reader) (Kindle Edition)
I am not sure how I happened upon this book, but it sounded interesting (I may have been led there by Amazon after searching for some more Inspector Gently novels). A prominent businessman approaches Inspector Van der Valk on the quiet with the suggestion that a famous neurologist was responsible for the murder of an artist assumed to have died naturally. The first half of the book is related in the third person as Van der Valk goes about confirming what he has been led to believe. The second half of the book is related in the first person by the accused doctor.

I must say that I felt so empty after reading this book. It is quite old and is written with a richness which is rare these days. But as crime fiction it fails miserably as it is virtually bereft of plot. I kept thinking that going back to the doctor's childhood was going to introduce some relevance to the story but it didn't. The extensive filler material and slow pace drove me crazy. Had they yielded a twist, or developed the plot in some way, perhaps I would have understood, but they didn't.

In short, the writing was fantastic, but the book lacked the story many crime fiction readers would expect.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 10 Jan 2014 16:53:20 GMT
Kat B says:
The reviewer is right, this is a superbly written book, but one of Freeling's very rare misses. He shouldn't give up, any, and all of the other Van der Valk books are wonderful, AND well plotted: I can particularly recommend the first, "Love in Amsterdam", followed by "Because of the Cats". The Castang books are equally good, but I do have a weakness for the Dutch inspector....
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Location: Budapest

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