Read as part of CBR14 Bingo: verse. This book frequently quotes the “Hell is empty, all the devils are here” passage from “The Tempest”, as well as verses from a fictional short story inspired by that passage.
This left me with the same feeling I felt when I first read Tana French’s debut novel In the Woods: good but I feel like it’s missing something to prevent it from being great.
I really liked the first half of the book: getting to know the three POV characters, letting the literary mystery unfold, diving into the world of English literature and academia. The mystery was twisty at first, though I had a good sense of who the killer was*. There was a lot to like.
There’s nothing necessarily bad about the second half. The writing doesn’t fall off, the pace continues to move at the pace of a Honda Civic in the middle lane on the freeway: fast enough without being slow, slow enough without speeding. I just…I don’t know. The story loses a little momentum, then picks it up, then is uneven until it roars to its finish.
But Tana French is now my favorite author and Elly Griffith is supremely talented. So it’s quite possible I’ll enjoy other books in what is apparently a series that revolves around Det. Harbinder Kaur (which is fine, she’s an interesting character). It’s good, probably one of the best I’ve read this year,. Just feel like it should have been better. But maybe it’s me.
*And was right, not because I’m clairvoyant but because I know all the tricks and how to read red herrings. It’s not glaringly obvious, so don’t let that prevent you from reading this.