Customer Review

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lindsay, Meredith, Stella, Helen et all. Give me a man., 8 Sep 2010
This review is from: Booked for Murder (Paperback)
This was my first and last foray into Val McDermid. A friend told me her early books were very good but that the author seems to have given in to her lesbian obsession. Nothing wrong with that and I'm all for social issues playing their part in stories, it makes them more life-like, but let's have some variety and a few men in the plot. This did not stir me at all. I found it mediocre and tedious and I certainly did not chuckle at the funny bits. I didn't find anything in this book even slightly amusing. It could have been good - the plot was unusual but lost its way amongst all these annoying women who all seemed to have had relationships with each other in previous times. I found it exasperating to follow. For the most part the characters were like cardboard cut-out figures, lacking any grit or substance. Oh dear this feels harsh but that's how I found it. Totally forgettable.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 17 Jun 2011 18:08:43 BDT
C. Wilson says:
I am about half way through and agree with what you say. I think it is a good and interesting idea to have all the main characters in same sex relationships but don't really need to have as much of the domestic stuff and the ins and outs of how they all knew each other -just as I wouldn't in the more stereotypical novel type relationships (which often tend to be lone detectives in bad or failed relationships) but that was sort of Ok. I gagged a bit at one character drinking 'very' black coffee as I am sure that it is black or white but ... Lindsay is unsympathetic character and I am willing the police to find her and throw the book at her. She goes into a crime scene, snoops around, gets caught, lies to a good sounding witness, breaks out of his home - and for that alone she should be in trouble but add to that her less than convincing interview of the agent - that seemed almost pointless as it told us so little - and I see her as a very poor detective in danger of messing up a case that the police appear to be handling (so far) quite well. Ok so a private investigator does have to act independently of the police to give the plot any meaning but surely they don't need to hinder and surely they need some better technique than Lindsay's? I am going to finish it and hope that when I review it I can say something really positive about it but now the domestic substance seems to take priority over the plot and I want more plot.

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Jun 2011 20:56:54 BDT
Jane Baker says:
Thank you for commenting. It's good to read what you say. At the moment I'm reading "Dry bones that dream" - Peter Robinson of the Inspector Banks series. Not the best but I heartily recommend them. If you don't know the series it's well worth a try. I'm just back from San Francisco and would also recommend "Murder on Nob Hill" by Shirley Tallman. Martin Hughes' Lake District Mysteries are excellent too and Susan Hill's Serrailler series. Perhaps you could recommend reading for me?

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Jun 2011 21:10:04 BDT
Last edited by the author on 17 Jun 2011 21:20:38 BDT
C. Wilson says:
I've read Susan Hill's Serrailler series but not the very latest one. I think I am one behind. I got a little bored with them towards the end. I can't remember why. I liked elements but he struck me as a very bad detective. I love the detective stories set in Bath ... Oh mind gone blank ... I'll come back in a second! Peter Lovesey. If you read them in order it is good but not essential. I used to live in Bath so loved the attention to location detail. I am not over keen on too more gore in murders and liked Ann Grainger for a while but she doesn't seem to write the Mitchell and Marksby characters any more. I was recommended Peter Robinson but never quite got into him. I met Val once at a book signing and really liked her. She drank lots of wine and entertained us all - she signed Booked for Murder for me although she was promoting something else. If you like 'cosies', the Agatha Raisen series is very funny, M C Beaton but sometimes it is good to read something dark.

My latest find, via the doctor's waiting room where they sell second hand books was The Lost Army Of Cambyses by Paul Sussman - he has a few and I really liked them all. Slightly different. Definitely formulaic but whichever one you read first will probably be your favourite. I hadn't realised this was part of a series and had a few of the Wire in the Blood ones and found them well written and gripping but a bit too gory for me.
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