04 March 2012
The Invisible Ones ~ Stef Penney
Meh! And another for good measure! Meh!
Not a patch on The Tenderness of Wolves
We both loved her debut novel ~ it had a great sense of place and time, with an interesting and diverse set of characters who were threaded through intriguing plotlines.
This also had lots of characters, but they didn't always hold my interest. I found the alternate chapters in the voice of the young teenager lacked verisimilitude (at time I wondered if he was supposed to be a bit "slow" given the clumsy dialogue and thoughts expressed by the character). In fact, the male pespective from her characters didn't ring true.
The gypsy theme was interesting and and an unusual background for the detective novel but it lacked "noir" for me. The investigation drags, probably because there are so many asides about the characters and their love lives, and ultimately it is too convoluted.
I didn't see the big twist coming at the end ... and I wondered if the author knew it was coming ... or decided as she wrote the last chapters just which of the red herrings she would follow up. Too much, too convoluted, and yet, too superficial.