Synopsis from Amazon:
Crime fiction obsessive Martin Reed is the proverbial butt of everyone’s jokes. Working as a glorified accountant at Southern Toilet Supply and still living with his cantankerous mother, he has become resigned to the world in which he lives – the school bullies now pick on him in the workplace, women still spurn him and his arch enemy is now his supervisor. But then he arrives at work one morning to find the police on site. A co-worker has been brutally murdered and her body abandoned in a ditch. And the overwhelming evidence points to Martin – especially when he can’t or won’t admit that he has an alibi. When a second victim is found in the company bathroom, things really conspire against Martin. The one bright star on his otherwise bleak horizon is the beautiful and sympathetic Detective Anther Albada, but even she’s beginning to have her doubts about his innocence. Could Martin be guilty? Or is he just misunderstood?
As a fan of Karin Slaughter’s ‘Grant County’ series, I was excited by the prospect of this book. However, while it is not a bad read, it is disappointing in comparison to that series. For fans of the Grant County series, it is worth noting that this book is entirely different in tone.
I felt it very difficult to empathise or sympathise with Martin or Anther, who are the main two characters in the book. I also found the other characters quite unbelievable, and Martin’s mother was horrible (although she was intended to be).
The whole sequence of events just seemed a little too convenient, as though the author had the end in mind very early on, and fitted the storyline around it. It should be noted however that this is a very short book, and so events did move quicker than you perhaps would have expected them to.
There is a twist at the end, but it didn’t particularly shock me, and there was a gaping plot hole in the final denounement.
If all this sounds very critical, it is not meant to. While the book is underwhelming, it is a reasonable enough way to pass a couple of hours. I actually listened to it on audiobook, which may have contributed to the reasons why I didn’t enjoy it as much as I might have. Unfortunately, the narrator, Walter Lewis, had a voice which grated on me, and I didn’t like the accents he used when speaking the parts of the various characters.
So all in all, not dreadful, but not one to seek out.