a wonderful start to this creepy book; I love all the little intricacies that have been sneaked in during the first 31 pages, before anything major has happened. a post-funeral get-together amongst friends has allowed the author to drop several key characters quickly, in a slightly morbid setting--especially when they--in slightly bad taste--get tangled up in a "how would you dispose of a body?" discussion, to pass the time. darkly humorous and somewhat inappropriate--but then, they didn't know the dead fellow long...
meanwhile, one friend of Bruce Attleton's (Bruce the fellow who is about to travel to Paris, and then disappear; that's on the back-cover, so I don't think I'm leaking spoilers) is concerned about a sinister bloke named Debrette who has apparently been menacing Bruce (blackmail?), and he coaxes this other, younger friend of Bruce's to prowl about the area where this Debrette may live and go out about at night for a pint, and the young amateur investigator has a reason for perhaps shutting down Debrette, because Grenville--the younger pal of Bruce's--would like to marry Elizabeth, ward of Bruce's. but Bruce is not permitting the marriage. get in Bruce's good books, that sort of thing.
what any of this has to do with Bruce's subsequent disappearance (murder?) I don't know--maybe nothing, maybe it's all, or partly, smoke and red herrings, but I love the feel of it...especially since I left things off with Grenville confronting the scary Debrette in his lair: called "the Morgue", big ugly edifice with a big ugly tower, where, yes, there are bats in the belfry (not introduced, yet). the Grenville/Debrette encounter at "the Morgue" did not go well...but made for darkly funny reading.
I'll go dark on plot points as I get further into this book, because soon they would be spoilers, but it feels like I'm in for a fun read, and I'm glad it's widely available again!
picked this up again after getting home late, and thought I might actually finish it with a "midnight marathon"...but naw, I'm too tired. so I settled for notching up one more chapter. we'll see what kind of ending I get, tomorrow morning. this book could swing down to a 3 or 3.5 rating if the ending makes the whole thing pointless--OR, and this would be better, the book could jump up from the 4 star niche it has landed in. it kind of reminds me of that author Will Carver I discovered last year, and I gave two of his books 5 and 4.5 stars. The Jackdaw is similar, but I'm not sure it's quite as good. maybe.
hard to put aside, it's very gripping; some spoilers relating to earlier books in the series, but I'll try and forget them. the review I read that led me to this book was correct about its one nitpick: some of the dialogue is a bit awkward, or ham-fisted and not quite the way a person would actually say something...but this only happens now and then, it's not every time someone opens his or her mouth and speaks--just some polishing in a few spots would have helped. overall, I really like this Thriller. I'm thrilled, in other words.