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Who cares who did it?
on 23 October 2017
An interesting premis – many years ago 2 brothers, Oren and Josh, go for a walk in the woods near their northern Californian home. Josh, younger one, disappears. Now, in the present day, Oren returns home from the US Army where he was an investigator in the Army Criminal Investigations Division. A human bone is found on the verandah one morning. Each day a new human bone appears.
This is a huge rambling crime thriller. 502 pages. It did not work for me. The author, without great subtlety or conviction, shoehorns in so many eccentric characters and so many flashbacks, that the boat of this novel is becalmed on, and then sinks in, a sea of red herrings.
I felt the author was trying to establish and position the character Oren Hobbs to sit alongside the likes of Jack Reacher and Quinn Colson (The Ranger), the post-Vietnam, post-modern return home American heroes shaped by the military with a mandate to investigate and right wrongs. But the characterisations, particularly of the central character Hobbs, fail as I read further into a north Californian version of Southern Gothic. Indeed, I felt as if the characters, buildings, atmosphere and decaying vegetation had been levered out of Alabama and transplanted into the US north west.
I lost interest in the plot and the actors. After 300 pages, I had no investment in finding out what happened to Josh, and, whatever it was, who did it. 1 star.
[BTW this is not a Mallory novel, as incorrectly titled by Amazon].