Top critical review
18 people found this helpful
Make mine an adjective
on 9 June 2009
A few thoughts on why this is tripe.
Verbosity - circa 220 pages to cover first 24 hours of the investigation. Adjective-itis - every noun must have one and preferably two.
Self-indulgence - prolonged insights on church architecture.
Stereotyping - a) half expected Lady Ursula to shout 'a handbag' at any moment, b) token female Police Officer/working class crumpet whose hard exterior conceals a soft centre...
Snobbery - does every Police Officer go to Oxford/Eton with odd visits 'to some Northern University'?
Pretentiousness - if Ms James uses 'propitiate' once more...
Dalgleish is given a huge build-up to the first time reader eg) nationally renowned poet, church afficianado, confidante to the aristos, hurrahs and politicos, Upper Middle Class, loves his Sunday school teacher, tragic loss of child. The big problem is that none of this character is displayed in his speech, thought or deed in solving the case. It could be another person.
The victim's old, aristocratic family and servants lie, perjure and deceive with impunity whilst Dalgleish lets it pass without comment or confrontation. The novel reeks of being written by an elderly, female Establishment figure and it is way too long.