I recently attended a book fair and picked up two novels, one of them was by a British author whose name was unknown to me. I read the book jacket reviews and was impressed. Reviewers used such phrases as “fluid, sparkling prose,”, “lifelike characters,” “sophisticated psychological portraits,” “a compelling page turner,” and so on. As I eagerly began reading, I was expecting something along the lines of Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment.
What a disappointment!
The lady writer appears to have a taste for erotica.
The story deals with some truly ugly murders. The details of these gruesome affairs are slowly revealed over the course of many chapters. The regular police are little involved, and any police work that took place must have been incredibly sloppy. The truth emerges bit by bit, while in the background hover a cast of mostly unlikable and thoroughly miserable characters. Adultery, child molestation, incest, and sexual deviations of every sort are described in pithy, cutesy phrases. All the female characters seem to be in a state of perpetual heat.
Maybe I couldn’t see the beautiful forest because of the ugly trees. Perhaps there is some literary merit in this woman’s writing, but I did not find it. After all, if truth be told, I am a bit of a prude, and I tend to view the world through rose colored glasses. I prefer it that way.
Have I lived too long?