Saturday, September 15, 2018

The Face of a Stranger by Anne Perry

Image result for anne perry face of a strangerI decided to depart from my usual reading list again for a change of scenery.  I pulled a list of LDS authors and found Anne Perry.  She writes in the mystery genre, and I thought this would be a good chance to try a mystery that could be more than just the murder. 

I wasn't disappointed on that front.  The story wasn't just about the murder of Joscelin Grey.  There was a bigger argument going on with the characters.  I was also very smitten with the Victorian setting; the hansoms, the elite, the urchins.  It was all reminiscent of Sherlock Holmes.

What I did not find entertaining, and almost made this novel impossible to read, was Inspector William Monk.  The major premise of his introductory novel revolves around a London detective waking up in hospital with amnesia.  

And he deals with that tragedy through the whole book with feet dragging, whining, blubbering annoyance.  This was very much a case where the author told too much instead of showing the reader the landscape and letting them wander.

The second negative was the matter of the who-dun-it portion.  I figured that out at the half-way point and had to slog through the rest of the novel dealing with the long winded red herrings. 

The clue that proves the killer's identity was not very well hidden in the foreshadowing.  It kind of stuck out like a sore thumb in the dialogue, and then the author pointed it out two more times.  Not very subtle.

I keep trying to find someone in the mystery genre worth reading, but I don't think I've found it just yet.  I'm going to give the second novel a shot because I enjoyed the Victorian setting and moral undertones of Anne Perry.  Hopefully she gets better at hiding the clues as she gains experience.