The latest instalment in the Lindsey McCall series immediately feels as though you are still reading the same book. Lin Wilder spends a good deal of time recapping “The Fragrance Shed By A Violet” and “A Price For Genius”, creating what can perhaps more accurately be considered a saga than a series. Although the main plotlines do stand alone, as in this book, they seem of secondary importance to Lin than the subplots involving her favourite character ensemble, all of which find a role in this episode. The characters are clearly a very important part of Lin’s life, but I’m not sure if the in-depth recapping is necessary, and feel it may invoke more questions than answers in readers new to the series. For this reason, I don’t feel “Malthus Revisited” should be considered a stand-alone, and would really recommend it to fans of Lin’s previous works. As with all Lin’s books, “Malthus Revisited” is incredibly well-written, and a showcase for the author’s immense knowledge. It does include a good number of typos, which can not be ignored, and need to be cleaned up, otherwise it is a very well presented book, with a high standard of writing quality.
The book takes a while to get going, due in no small part to the extensive reminiscence, which I feel dilutes its story. The story itself is more ambitious than Wilder’s former fare – Lindsey, Rich and their circle charged with prevention of the imminent apocalypse, no less - with a villain to rival James Bond’s enemies! As we have come to expect from Lin, the book is extremely detailed and researched throughout, and one would presume this has enabled her to craft a credible story, with procedural insight on the scale of Cornwell or LaPlante; of course, while she is an expert in her field, most of us are not – when she embarks upon the medical academia and procedural jargon, you tend to just nod and take her word for it. Ultimately, in spite of its subject matter, which should be about as gripping as it gets, I’m sorry to say that this book did lose my attention after a while, and it did take effort to stay with it. Lin’s books generally are not my cup of tea, but I can see clearly the appeal of this talented author, particularly to those of a medical or science background. I think where I fall away is with the characters – I’m afraid I don’t feel the same way that Lin does about Lindsey McCall: I don’t find her perfection and limitless virtues endearing at all, but quite the opposite. In fact, the warmth and decency of all the main characters, after four books, does become a little sickly. I would prefer more focus on the storyline, and less of the recapped backstory and continuous development of the main characters. That said, it is an easier read than its prequels, and I did so over two evenings; there are far worse ways to spend a few hours.
In : Book Reviews