Read as part of cbr14bingo: gaslight. This book took place in gaslight era New York state. There’s even a gaslight on the book cover!
Most of the time, I ditch the vaunted 5th star from an otherwise excellent book due to the ending. I’m usually disappointed by endings and even if I try to be graceful, I still can sometimes get disappointed by one. I can’t recall ever bumping a book from four stars to five due to the ending, yet here we are.
I’m not sure I would have picked this book up otherwise if not for the impending release of the movie it’s based on. Christian Bale is a fine actor and I’ll likely be watching. When I read about it, the premise looked intriguing so I decided to give it a go.
It’s very good up through the last fifty pages. I like the way Louis Bayard brings Edgar Allan Poe to life, tells a story with prose that is rich (at times, too rich) and helps us connect with Det. Landor while still keeping us at a distance. The story takes a bit long to arrive near its conclusion but ok.
I thought the plot ended abruptly with 50 pages to go and had an extended denouement, which, ok, Bayard certainly likes words. However, I was not prepared for that. I’m a seasoned mystery reader, knowing all the twists and turns. I knew there was something off putting by the way Bayard wrote some of the interactions but I didn’t know it would turn out to be…that.
That, dear reader, is how you pull the rug out. That’s how you enact an in-plain-sight twist. Bravo, Mr. Bayard. I hope the movie does this justice.