Monday, January 18, 2010

On mystery novels

I haven't done very well so far at my repeat attempt to read a book a week. So far this year I've finished two books...which sounds great, except I had actually started them before the end of last year. One of them I started in's not as good as it sounds.

However, I am endeavouring to keep up the pace, and have started reading 'The Tiger in the Well' by Philip Pullman.

And wow.

Seriously. It is the third book in the Sally Lockhart Mysteries series. I hadn't realised after reading the first two how good they are. Which isn't to say I didn't enjoy them. But I already had a basic undertsanding of what was going to happen because the first two have been made into TV movies which I watched, mostly out of curiousity to see Matt Smith at work. And so I didn't realise that they completely suck you in. I am only about 110 pages in to The Tiger in the Well and I'm impatient to know what happens. I want to know how it all works out and I've got about 300 pages to go...which is surely the sign of a good mystery. You want to be thinking the whole time, trying to work out what's going on and who the villain is.

Which is largely different to my previous experience with mystery novels. Because mostly I have only read the 'Bones' books by Kathy Reichs. The first few were totally gripping until you realise she writes the same book again and again with mild variations. And makes a killing doing it, so all power to her. But there's not really any suspense after you've read a few because you learn to pick who the bad guy is because of a certain pattern. The book I'm reading now, though, you think you know who the bad guy is, but you know there's something more than what it appears. There's foreshadowing to give a hint as to who might be behind it all, but you can't be sure it's not just mentioning events in previous books.

And after all that, these are meant to be books for teenagers. Seriously. I found them in the teen section of Dymocks. I'm getting old enough that it just feels dodgy to hang around that section. And it's a shame because these are not books for kids. Sure, I would have lapped them up when I was 16, but I think I appreciate them more now than I would have then.

To sum up. This was a long rambly blog post which basically can be summarised by the fact that I like this book and am enjoying reading it. Consider this sucker REVIEWED!

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