I’ve been looking for some humor, and in Scot Free, I found it. The last book I
picked up to read that was supposed to be humorous didn’t do it for me, but
this one makes me laugh.
I read some reviews where McPherson fans were disappointed
in this novel, but since I haven’t read any of her previous books, I had no
expectations. Her characters are ridiculous and outlandish, and I love them. The
residents of the Last Ditch Motel, where Lexi ends up entirely by accident, are
unbelievable but loveable and laughable.
Lexi’s descriptions of California life from the point of
view of a recent immigrant from Scotland are delightful. The plot is silly and
unbelievable but entertaining.
Elevator Pitch is
the first novel I’ve read by Linwood Barclay. I found the plot intriguing. Why
would anyone kill people by messing with elevators? Is it just to terrorize the
people of New York, one of the most vertical cities in the world? I predicted
the villain early in the story but was led astray a few times before my guess
was confirmed at the end. But I never guessed the “why” until revealed at the conclusion.
Barclay’s character portrayals are varied and interesting;
the main ones are a reporter with an ax to grind, her daughter, two NYC police
detectives, the mayor of New York, his son, and his “I take care of everything”
Although the book kept my interest throughout, it could use
some editing, and it could lose about 200 pages. Lots of unneeded detail slowed
the pace in the middle. I have a habit of skipping to the last few chapters of
a book when I get bored, but this one kept my interest enough to keep me from
doing that. I read all 600 plus pages.
I will look for more of Barclay’s writing.
A police procedural mystery with beautiful coastal England
settings and a mix of interesting characters.
The plot includes the murder of an apparently homeless man
and two kidnappings of Down syndrome women. Detective Matthew Venn believes
they are somehow related. All the victims have connections to his husband
Jonathon’s service center, The Woodyard, which houses an artist’s colony, a
counseling service, and a center for the learning disabled.
The author’s characters are varied and usually believable.
But I found DI Venn a bit too insecure for a detective leading a murder
investigation. His constable, Jenn Rafferty, is lively and smart. Ross, another
member of Venn’s team, is young and impatient.
Cleeves’s description of North Devon brings to life the
sights, smell, and sounds of the villages, countryside, and the coastline.
The story held my interest throughout. The pace is somewhat
slow in the middle but interesting enough to keep me reading. It picks up
toward the end.
The Long Call is
the second novel I’ve read by Ann Cleeves. I’ll look for more of her books.