Read #127

I have read 5 or 6 of Myers’ novels and I really, really like them, except this one. This seemed laboured, workaday. It follows on – after a fashion – from Turning Blue, which I did like.

The trouble is it takes 150 pages to take off. If I hadn’t read so much of his other work and been so convinced of his qualities as a writer, I would probably have packed this one in before I got to that point.

Like Turning Blue it is a Yorkshire noir – as in a thriller / police procedural with viciously attacked women, and coppers of varying degrees of competence and / or interest and a dogged journalist making the real headway in the case. There are strange, introverted hill-dwellers, people from isolated farmhouses with “their own ways”, there is a lot of rain, and people in the small town – Hebden Bridge – nestled tight in a steep valley going about their lives, who speak of a particular type of local madness that comes over folk not used to the place, who stay here too long, owing to the reduced amount of sunlight.

For what it is, a page-turning thriller, it is readable and does its job. The gripe is that Myers is capable of much better, as just about every one of his other books proves.

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