Thursday, 24 November 2011
A new experience today – writing this on the train home to see my family. Currently passing lovely, bright green, rolling hills covered in tress and the occasional little farm house.
Right – to the blog post:
Another book from the wonderful people at Doubleday. This is one of the more popular books I’ve reviewed as it is the latest in the Dexter series, Double Dexter. Let’s start with the cover, shall we? It promises to be “an all-new Dexter case you won’t see on TV” – surely a thrill for fans of the series and a sure-fire motive for them to grab a copy. It was released on 18th October, with little hype, but a strong fan-base nonetheless. I had high hopes, having heard so much about the series (some of you will be horrified to find that the first Dexter book I have read is the latest one, and I haven’t even caught an episode on TV) so as soon as I could I delved in to find out what the fuss was all about.
It was an easy read, I probably read the 322 pages that my proof-copy offered in about six hours. I generally enjoyed the plot, too. However, as I read, the niggles piled up and I wished I hadn’t set my expectations quite so high. I was expected something complex, that would leave me wondering after each chapter, what was going to happen next? Who was the Shadow? It was, unfortunately, rather predictable, and I prefer more of a puzzle in my crime fiction, a few unexpected twists and turns. On top of its predictability was a hefty dose of repetition, which certainly wasn’t a helpful factor when it was quite obvious what was going to happen. It occasionally made the reading experience quite dull and I found myself skipping over whole paragraphs in search of something new. Even the simplest narrative techniques were exaggerated to make it obvious what was going to happen. Lindsay’s use of foreshadowing, for example, leaves a lot to be desired – rather than hinting at future events, it more shoves it in your face so that you cannot pretend you don’t know what’s coming.
This said, I still sat for several hours straight and finished the book, and I had enjoyed what I’d read. If you want an easy crime fiction read, this would certainly be the kind of thing you were looking for. It is entertaining, the lovable rogue that is Dexter is a brilliant narrator, and Lindsay’s descriptions are fantastic. I have a feeling I might be tracking down the first book – maybe now that my expectations have been set straight, I might not find it so niggly.