Monday, January 05, 2004

The Distant Echo by Val McDermid was next. I usually enjoy Val McDermid's mysteries, but I don't necessarily seek them out like I do, say, Elizabeth George's. This one showed me one reason why that may be, namely that I spotted the killer about a hundred pages in. I don't mind figuring books out before the ending, but only a fourth of the way through? That said, I did finish it, so it wasn't too horrible or annoying. But every time she tried to throw in a red herring it didn't ring true. Maybe more subtlety would have been nice. Or a wider suspect base. Or maybe splitting the timeline of the book (half in the past and half in the present) made it easier than if she'd revealed the discovery of the murder and the subsequent events that caused the four friends to drift in flashbacks. I think that would've made it a stronger and better book.

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