Kissing the Demons (Joe Plantagenet Murder Mysteries) Hardcover – 8 Mar 2011
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This complex and tense story involves a potential serial killer and several people with too much to lose if the secrets they are hiding come to light. The book is very well written and with its touch of the supernatural is something out of the ordinary run of crime stories. I like Joe and his boss, Emily, who are really coming to life in this third book in the series. They each have their own domestic problems and Joe's past - in the person of his late wife's sister - has come back to disrupt the present.
I love the setting of this series - the city of Eborby - a thinly disguised portrait of York. It imparts its own atmosphere to the novels with its long history, medieval buildings and winding streets and alleyways. Even minor characters are well drawn and the tension mounts to the horrific climax. Definitely a book worth reading and even though it is part of a series it can be read as a standalone story.
The plot is quite well thought through and the tension builds nicely as the story progresses, but thinking back I was struck by how little detection the police characters actually did in this book; exciting events seemed to simply unfold around them. This seems to be a problem with many crime novels: the desire to keep the plot moving and the reader gripped, at the expense of a really believable story. There were more than the usual number of coincidences and an original crime which was fairly unbelievable. The other problem was that, aside from two or three main characters, most of the others were fairly two dimensional. At times it felt as though I was reading a detailed, but fairly flat, novelisation of the latest TV police drama; thinking about it, I am sure that the Plantagenet books would make a good series for ITV's never-ending detective series (with the added bonus of being set in the very picturesque north Yorkshire).
Still, Ellis manages to evoke a genuinely creepy atmosphere, with a believable backdrop which makes this a book and interesting and enjoyable read. I would certainly read more books by Kate Ellis.
© Koplowitz 2012
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I can't wait to read next in series
Maintains the high standards of her previous novels.Read more
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