Comments: 4
BrokenTune 9 months ago
I tried to start this one, but didn't get far before putting it down again. So, the best part of the book is in the last part?
Well, from a "crafting characters" perspective, I actually liked how Meredith profiled the various characters at the outset, and I also liked the spotlight she shone on the murderer's thought processes immediately after the deed was done. I could even muster some sort of malicious joy while reading about the family's initial interactions after the murder. But by the time the police constable appeared on the scene, I was sorely tired of them all and was hoping the spotlight would shift to the cop and the investigation (particularly given the all the background we're given about the cop, which clearly is designed to make the reader instantly like and respect him, and hope to see more of him after the end of this case), which didn't happen, either, though ... the cop vanished into the background again as soon as the case had gone to trial, and the perspective shifted yet again, this time to Miles (the young lawyer).

So I'm not actually sure I'd say the ending is the best part -- Miles and the PC are just among the book's few likeable characters; and since I didn't much manage to empathize with the murderer's mental processes after having committed the deed (I don't perceive much of a genuine "conflict" or "struggle with his conscience" there to begin with), I would have been disinclined to use this book for the "Penance Day" square if that had been the only instance of such a(n alleged) struggle in the book. But I could, at least up to a point, empathize with Miles's struggle. So that's simply the reason why I am counting the book for this particular square.

How far did you progress?
BrokenTune 9 months ago
I see.

I didn't get far. The way it was set up, i.e. that we knew who the murderer was from the start, was intriguing but was not what I was looking for. I'll gladly pick it up again at another time, but I needed the fun of the puzzle this year. Serves me right for not reading the blurb, eh?
Well, I didn't either -- and in fairness, I think the cover does misrepresent to a certain extent what type of book it is. So yeah, when I got to the introduction, I decided to put it back in the queue and get through a few other, "proper" Christmas puzzles first, too.

That said, I think because of the kind of book it is, it's actually a book you can read just as well at any other time of the year. Treating it as a "non-Christmas" read might actually even be the better option (and I toyed with that idea, too) ... there really isn't much Christmas spirit about it.