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Monday, June 9, 2008


Author: Linda Fairstein
Reason for Reading: Bookclub at work
Rating: 2/5

Sometimes when I just want to watch some mindless TV, I enjoy watching one of the many CSI spinoffs. The police characters are generally stereotypes there to move the plot along, and I pay no attention whatsoever to what happens with their personal lives. The suspects and people they interview exist to give us clues to the mystery, and one can predict plot twists by how many more minutes are left in the episode. (Okay they've caught who they think is the killer, but its only 8:40. They've clearly got the wrong guy.)

I don't generally read many mysteries except for the Agatha Christie variety, but somehow I expected more from this book than to be a full-blown CSI episode. I really couldn't tell you a single detail about any of the characters and in fact, as the book progressed, I frequently lost track of who was talking. The clunky style kept me constantly a step behind.

The plot revolves around a skeleton found behind the wall of a college building where Edgar Allen Poe once lived. As it looks like the victim was likely entombed alive, Assistant District Attorney Alexandra Cooper is immediately reminded of Poe's fiction. At the same time, her old nemesis, the Silk Stocking Rapist is back. She's determined to hunt him down this time and make him pay for his crimes.

I diligently read this book for my book club, but if not for the "I have to read it or I can't make it to book club", I would have put this book down about chapter 6 and not picked it up again. Like I mentioned, I didn't care about the characters. A scene where the main character is trapped in a similar fashion to the victim found in the wall made me annoyed, not sympathetic, because it seemed so improbable. Why bother? If a real villian wanted to hurt her, they'd have an easier time stabbing her or shooting her. Why the elaborate set-up?

What irked me the most was after I got all the way through the whole darn book, it just ended. No resolution for the personal situation going on. And one of the bad guy situations is only mentioned in passing as having been resolved. No details. Sadly, my reaction to the revelation of the villain was "oh good, the book's finally over no"

I will say, despite my hang-ups with the plot and characters, I did learn quite a bit about Poe. I'm always one for learning about history, so I did enjoy those sections of the book.

Most everyone in the book club had similar feelings as I did, (albeit they weren't all as strong, though) however, I was the only one who would not want to read more books by this author. Perhaps if you are a fan of the genre, you will enjoy this one more than I did.


Melody said...

I'm sorry to hear you didn't enjoy this book. I almost picked this up but after reading your review, I think I'll have to let it pass.

Natasha @ Maw Books said...

I've never heard of this one but appreciate the honesty in your reviews!

DesLily said...

it's the pits getting through a book that doesn't hold our interest! More power to you!

Debi said...

Sorry your group picked a dud. I'm impressed you stuck with it though...not sure I would have if I was hating it that much.

Seachanges said...

Nothing worse than forcing yourself to read a book you don't like! I usually give up.

Kim L said...

melody-yeah, I wouldn't say its anything real exciting.

natasha-well thank you. I try to give my real opinion without an excess of sarcasm.

deslily-I just barely made it. There was food at the meeting :-)

debi-well I probably won't in the future.

seachanges-I probably would have if not for book club.