Top critical review
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on 6 September 2012
I thought I would like the Morse books - intellectual detective stories with plenty to satisfy the user. I was wrong. I hated this book, and I hated it because of the writing style. Colin Dexter writes in an extremely irritating and self-absorbed style. Every piece of narrative seems to come with a little (pointless and annoying) comment in parentheses. The whole thing feels smug and pretentious. This is compounded by the fact that the author alludes to the perpetrators of each element of the mystery in the narrative even though no evidence has yet been uncovered. Thus there is no real mystery and we just have Morse shambling along piecing together things that the reader already knows.
I just couldn't get into it and struggled to finish it. It's a shame because, in the hands of Ruth Rendell or Ian Rankin, this could be a cracking story. Instead it's a self-congratulatory and irritating book to read.