Crime rounds

I haven’t been that enthusiastic about most of the books I’ve read recently, hence I haven’t been motivated to write reviews. Am I losing my taste for crime fiction, I wonder? If you have read any of the books I list below, let me know what you think.

Rage by Jonathan Kellerman

Black Maps and No Way Home by Peter Spiegelman

Goodnight Irene by Jan Burke

Malicious Intent by Kathryn Fox.

Brief reviews follow. Rage is professionally written and readable enough. As usual with newish Kellerman, it is a shadow of the earlier books, which offered genuine psychological insight. Sometimes I think Kellerman is oscillating towards writing a book that takes place entirely in a traffic jam on an LA freeway. Rage is mostly a conversation between Alex Delaware and Lt Milo Sturgis (LAPD) about a small circle of suspects, hypothesising about the various permutations until they hit on the correct explanation. It is well done, but mechanical. As is the "will it be Robyn or Allison?" subplot that features briefly in each book. This time, Allison spends most of her time at her grandmother’s and Robyn reveals she’s split with the man for whom she left Alex. But the pace is so slow, and the women such perfunctory characters, it is hard to care.

Black Maps is an excellent first novel, recommended (if memory serves) by Dick Adler of Paperback Mysteries.

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