on 21 March 2011
Many British mystery/crime/thrillers, seem to be the complete antithesis of their American counterparts and the character of Charles Wycliffe, created by W.J. Burley, is no exception.
Wycliffe is portrayed as a man of few words, who seems rather taciturn and shows little emotion. His actions are slow and deliberate, seldom hasty or over exuberant. Burley is able to pin down an image in just a few words and you can sense the watchfulness and intent listening skills, that Wycliffe applies, when building his case.
The plot in this, and other books in the Wycliffe series, is quite complicated and some of the characters can be dangerous, although they seldom turn out to be professional `villains'.
The Wycliffe books are set in Burley's native Cornwall and Devon and many of the plots are based around tensions and jealousies that are aroused when living in a small community, often with several family members living in close proximity to each other, as is the case with `The Pea-Green Boat,' which is the 6th book, in a series of 22. The jealousy and sometimes barely concealed hatred between family members, is palpable, and leads to a crime being committed, which in many ways is totally out of character, followed by an even more vengeful act of retribution. As with all good mysteries, there is a second, less significant strand of crime, running through the story, which contrives to put you off the scent a little.
This is not a book for those of you who like an action packed, blood soaked thriller, but is one I thoroughly enjoyed, along with the televised series, which starred Jack Shepherd in the title role and did stirling justice to the W.J. Burley books.
on 11 June 2013
Thoroughly enjoyed the Pea Green Boat. Had seen a program about the author on t.v. and had always enjoyed the Wycliffe series, so thought I would give the book a try. The book was easy to read, reasonably short, so it didn't drag on at a time when i find reading difficult to fit in. For me it was ideal.