interesting book and a novel premise.
This entire novella takes place in a police interview, its whole story
unfolding through the main character’s narrative. I’m not sure how much of Brown’s bio is
intended to be serious, and how much tongue-in-cheek, as he would seem to
suggest that much of the unnamed first-person character is based on his own
personality and indeed his own experiences – not too much, I hope, because while
the protagonist is indeed interesting, I wouldn’t call him endearing in any
way. Though clearly of some intellect,
in perhaps moments of contrived cleverness, the overall murder-mystery in this
book is not what one would call particularly complex; rather more Murder She
Wrote than Sherlock Holmes.
The main character is a touch too arrogant to be likeable; my experience
of highly intelligent people is that they tend to be more tolerant of their
intellectual inferiors, preferring to engage on a level plain, because they
know this is likely to be holistically more beneficial than antagonising them, which
the interesting detective seems wont to doing.
In the book, this would appear to be excused by the hint of suggestion that
he has some degree of spectrum disorder – which is, of course, a common characteristic
of all the best puzzle-solving sleuths.
Not sure why Brown opted for the comic cursive, but it certainly helped
set the scene, giving the narrative a similar feel to The Curious Incident
of the Dog in the Night-Time.
enjoyed the book generally. It was an
entertaining way to spend an hour or two, with a warm and cosy prose; it may be
suited to a longish commute or a shortish journey. To be honest, I would have liked a little
more from Brown – perhaps a whole book of short detective mysteries involving
this character; that said, a novella probably maximized the limits of this
particular case. There were quite a few
grammatical errors in the book, which I have to say honestly undermined its
first-person genius premise a touch. But
overall, I’d definitely like to see more from this author, and hope that in other
titles he infuses the real rarity of unique ingenuity in his cases – I’m sure
he has many in mind.
In : Book Reviews