This book picks up where Undertow left off & there have been a few changes for our 2 MC’s due to the fallout from their last case. Cal Dion is back in uniform, pounding the beat with a shiny new partner who might be a good cop if he ever stopped talking. But oddly enough, Cal is almost content with his lot.
When we first met him (Cold Girl), Cal was returning to work after suffering a head injury in a car crash that killed his best friend. Cognitive blips & difficulty reading/writing were his constant companions. And while he became adept at hiding his limitations from coworkers, Cal was only too aware he was no longer a hotshot detective. Frustration & depression ensued & in book #2 we watched as he went off the rails & risked everything. Now he’s in a better place. Cal’s accepted his faulty wiring & is lucky to still have a job.
Dave Leith was Cal’s partner in homicide. He’s still working elite crimes & trying to get used to big city life. Now their paths cross again as a series of bizarre crimes begin to pop up around the North Vancouver detachment. First a body is found on a derelict property & it’s been there a while. Then a hiker dies mysteriously on a densely forested trail & walkers are spooked on wooded paths. Excluding nosy neighbours, tips are hard to come by. Well…unless you count reports of a wolf-like creature spotted around the cycling trails. Wait…was that a howl?
In alternate chapters we meet Stefano Boone, a young guy who works at a diner. He lives in his parents’ basement, has no friends & he’s…em…kind of going through something. Best to leave that alone until you meet him yourself.
There are other characters that flesh out the story lines & several will trigger your spidey senses. As the investigations progress, Cal also has his suspicions. Thing is, it’s hard to know if he’s on the right path. Is the person of interest really a little hinky or has Cal’s memory just sprung another leak?
This is book #3 in the series & it’s my favourite (so far…). It’s not just the multi-story lines, great twists & characters I’ve come to know. It’s also the writing. I can’t help but feel the author has really hit her stride. The flow & pacing make for an effortless read with little nuggets of info dropped in all the right places that make it hard to put down. The prose is self assured & economical with enough description to create an atmosphere that is dark, foreboding & tense.
The pace picks up near the end as the puzzle pieces begin to click together. It’s like a fog lifts to reveal startling truths. There are some satisfying conclusions (for 1 character in particular…what a git!) but not everything is neatly folded up & put away. An event from Cal’s past has lingered in the background like a spectre since the first book & it’s starting to take shape. If details surrounding the crash that re-wired his brain come out….well, Cal’s going to have a very bad day. Or decade. That alone guarantees I’ll be in line for book #4.
Recommend reading in order due to ongoing story lines that reference the characters’ personal histories & evolving relationship.
Phryne Fisher is bored by the London society. When she gets a proposition to do some amateur sleuthing in Australia, she immediately grabs the opportunity and boards a ship to Melbourne.
And there she starts her amateur sleuthing, which is fine by me. It´s your typical run-of-the-mill amateur sleuth plot. And the plot isn´t the reason why I have become increasingly more annoyed with every chapter that I have read. That honour belongs to Miss Phryne Fisher herself, but I will come back to that.
The very first thing that bugged me about this book were the never-ending descriptions of Phryne´s wardrobe, which I couldn´t care less about. Luckily Greenwood toned down on these description towards the end, but only because Phryne doesn´t wear hardly any clothes in the latter part of the novel. Instead she parades naked in front of a bunch of men, who doesn´t seem to be bothered by her nakedness at all. Kudos to these men, they have more willpower than Phryne has.
Because let´s have a look at her encounter with Sasha, her love interest. After the sex he says:
“Perhaps you will bear my baby,” commented Sasha. Phryne smiled. Carried away by passion she certainly was, but her diaphragm had been in place since last night.
The comment of this guy is gross. I would have kicked him out of bed and showed him the door. But Phryne smiles and she is thinking of sleeping with this douchebag again.
And a diaphragm, which has been in her womb for about 12 hours, doesn´t prevent her from getting pregnant. Quite the contrary. A diaphragm, which is used in combination with a spermicidal gel, has a pearl index of 1-20. The pearl index tells you, how many women out of 100 get pregnant while using said protection. Phryne´s diaphragm, which has been inside of her for a couple of hours, must have a pearl index of at least 50. Because there can´t be any spermicide left on that diaphragm, maybe she didn´t use one to begin with. The series contains twenty books and based on Phryne´s lifestyle, she has to become pregnant in book four the latest. But I suppose that doesn´t happen.
But of course, Phryne is some sort of wonder woman. If she doesn´t want to get pregnant, she doesn´t get pregnant. Raised in a poor environment, she became rich by inheritance. She knows how to deal with both the poor and the rich people. And there isn´t anything she can´t do. A professional gunman showed her how to use a gun, a professional female racing car driver showed her how to drive a racing car and she is even skilled in the art of street fighting:
Although trained in street fighting by apache masters […]
Oh please, give me a break. This book is a big pile of garbage and I would claim that Phryne is a Mary Sue of the worst kind. I can´t stand that women.
The only thing I liked about this book where the secondary characters. And this is not enough.