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Customer Review

on 27 July 2008
This is the first of Edric's books I have read, and almost certainly the last. It came very well recommended, both by Amazon reviewers and by reviewers for major papers and journals. That may, in part, be why I was so disappointed by it in the end. It was, I believe, praised far out of its league and made to seem a literary masterpiece when it is not. There is some fine writing, though not, perhaps, enough. But for the most part it is a very tedious, slow read, with a plot that drags and drags and at times goes so far up its own nether regions as to seem entirely forced. There is no pace, not at the start, and not by the end. It is monotone. We know next to nothing about the narrator (the private detective). He lacks all emotion or has such repressed emotions that they do not serve. Much of the writing consists of overlong, stretched dialogue between characters who never seem to like anybody, not even themselves. The overall mood is, in consequence, sombre lit through with antagonism. The narrator is or should be the protagonist, but in truth he can't be because he remains subservient to the police (who use him) and some criminals (who use him). By choosing to write a first-person narrative, Edric makes it difficult to handle a plot that is spread over several characters and places. He ends up using telephone conversations and other awkward devices in order to keep the narrator connected to the plot. I came away not liking it. The author clearly has talent, but I wonder if he is well suited to the crime novel.
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