I Found This Book at the Library. Coincidence? ;-)

26 10 2011

I love few things in life more than a good ol’ British detective and mystery story. Give me Ruth Rendell and Elizabeth George (especially her earlier books) any day. So, imagine how thrilled I was when I found a promising book at the library the other day. I colored myself excited with Magic Markers. (Yes, the librarians looked at me weird, but then they usually do.)

The book, “The Surrogate,” by Tania Carver succeeded on many levels. I would buy her future books. But one pervasive issue keeps the book from being the best it can be. The “C” word–coincidences. Lots of them. And they keep coming, down the chute like obedient soldiers. Okay, maybe a bit of an exaggeration, but when I was reading, I did not think so. It also seems like every other sentence is an incomplete sentence, missing a subject. This diminished somewhat in the second half. Also by the last twenty or thirty pages, I was mostly skimming. Some scenes had gotten repetitive (the killer does the same thing again and again at home).

The book also resorts to downright trickery for one character. I can’t go into it deeply because then it would be a spoiler. Basically, it is a formatting issue (using italics instead of quotation marks to represent one character’s dialogue to lead us to to think one thing until…) In any case, it IS trickery, plain and simple. And it was not necessary.

This book is not for everyone, especially if you cannot bear the thought of babies dying. Overall, though, this is a serviceable mystery that satisfied my British fix.

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