As much as I've love Ellis' fen series, this book doesn't fall in my typical choice of genre. It is classified as Women's Fiction. I didn't dislike it by any means, but I was hoping for more of Nikki Galena and her crew.
I was already familiar with urban exploration and urban decay from seeing photos on different sites for the last several years, but the novel does an interesting job in discussing this pastime/obsession. Many of the photos urban explorers take are gorgeous, but most of the locations have a an air of desolation that is hard to shake. The explorations range from the grand to the industrial, and there is always that combination of fascinating and sad about abandoned buildings.
Women's Fiction. Apr. 28, 2017.
A while back NetGalley offered a Bill Slider mystery (Old Bones) by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles that succeeded on a number of levels: good police procedural, great characterization and dialogue, an intricate plot, great writing, and excellent use of comic relief to break the tension. I knew I wanted more of the series, and I happened to find Gone Tomorrow on my last trip to the library.
A well-dressed man is found murdered in a park. All identification is missing, but a thousand pounds of cash has been left, so robbery was not the motive. Slider and his team's first step is to discover the name of the victim. This doesn't turn out to be as easy as they hoped; in fact, nothing in the investigation turns out to be easy, and the death toll mounts.
Harrod-Eagles scatters allusions to literature and contemporary culture throughout, and in the text they feel pretty natural and not at all distracting. In the chapter titles, on the other hand: "How Grim Was My Valet" and "From Err to Paternity" were obvious and amusing, but most, while funny in their own right, detracted from the seriousness of the plot. Some were just strained and awkward. It must have been fun for the author to come up with them, but perhaps the temptation should have been avoided.
Plot and characters--excellent. Chapter titles--not so much.
I liked Gone Tomorrow (2001) but Old Bones (2017) shows some differences in writing style that I appreciated more. Harrod-Eagles has progressed from very good in Gone Tomorrow to excellent in Old Bones--I'm eager to read more in the Bill Slider series, picking up from Gone Tomorrow and moving forward to the more recent books.
Police Procedural/British. 2001. 367 pages.