Top positive review
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Tis most good
on 7 April 2008
I may be biased, because I think Kellerman is one of the better writers around at the moment. And, actually, has been for the past decade or so. I also think Alex Delaware is a wonderful, wonderful character.
He's sardonic, and unflappable: he is the epitome of the "strong, silent type". What's fascinating with the Delaware series is we get to see what goes on inside the head of the strong silent type. Not something we get to see an awful lot. These people are often a mystery... are they as still on the inside as they appear? Do they have self-doubt like the rest of us? Each new book gives us another, thus deeper, insight into the mind of someone like that.
Kellerman routinely chucks in more red herrings than you can shake a stick at. (Although, if you're shaking sticks at fish, you're mean.) Sometimes it's easier than others to cut through the noise (as tuneful as it is) and single out whodunnit. Gone is one of them... to an extent. Some things you may guess; others you won't.
Something common to every single Delaware book is the way in which the layers are peeled back; one after the other, gradually taking the reader into an increasingly confusing world where you can't really see the wood for the trees. It keeps you turning the pages loyally, and it causes you to scratch your head more than once. These are finely plotted, well-thought out pieces of writing: detailed, and intricate.
Gone is perhaps less dark than some of his others, but it's no poorer for that. Despite having written as many as he has, and despite churning them out as quickly as he does, I don't think he sacrifices any of the quality. He is just a genuinely good writer who absolutely knows his business - both literary and psychologically.
I always liked Robin, and found their relationship a nice counterpoint to the brutality - much preferred her to the woeful Allison - so having her back was great. I can appreciate, however, that not liking her as a character would make her reappearance unwanted. That's a fairly arbitrary point to review, though, as it all depends on how you personally feel.
Whether you like her or not doesn't affect the quality of the writing which, as I said, is always good. No Kellerman book ever has pointless filler, and he always locks it up nice and tight.
All in all, a fab book. Not mind-blowing, no, but certainly better than a good 90% of what's available these days and absolutely worth a read.