Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Scottish detectives

I came home exhausted last Friday & lounged about all evening reading Val McDermid's The Distant Echo. It's excellent: her writing has just gotten better and better, the first novels are a bit clunky in retrospect but this and her last are both superb.

Then I read the first two novels in the Enlightenment series by Paul Johnston, Body Politic and The Bone Yard. (Thanks to Donna at Sarah Weinman's site for the Scottish crime recommendations, BTW.) I love the idea of these, but I'm ambivalent about them in actuality. Will read the next two and see what I think. The one thing I really can't stand is the fact that there's an awkward simile on every page! Sample first sentence: "The weather set its trap with all the cunning and skill of a poacher who invites his extended family round for a New Year's banquet thenr ealises his cupboard is bare." It all depends how you feel about this sort of jokey style, I guess...

1 comment:

  1. Thanks, Sarah. Yes, I have a strong sense that this is a writer I'm extremely interested in, and will pursue further, in spite of these few reservations about those first two. Will obtain the Greek ones ASAP. I've got a lot of overlapping interests with this guy--genetic engineering, platonic societies, in fact the novel I've just written is also set in an alternate-universe Edinburgh governed on the principles of Adam Smith and David Hume! Thanks again to your blog (and Donna) for the tip...