I got three-quarters of the way through this book before abandoning it. According to the ebook software, I had about an hours worth of reading to go.
Why put it aside so close to the end? It had become obvious that this wasn’t really a complete novel. I was sliding towards a cliff-hanger ending and would have had to wade my way through another book, perhaps two, to get any real resolution. I hate that.
Why did I let myself get so far into the book? Well, the premise of a librarian-slaughtering, cold-case serial killer being investigated by a famous true crime author who has to return to his left-as-soon-as-I-could-and-never-went-back hometown seemed intriguing.
How can you go wrong with that? C. J. Carmichael managed it by writing all the characters at arms-length so that I felt I was reading a profile rather than meeting a person. This is an achievement given that the story is told from the point of view of three characters, two women and one man, yet none of them has a distinctive voice. Throw in the fact that the crime writer turns out to be a weak, undisciplined man who has never grown up and who does not meet even the few commitments he makes and I was losing interest in him solving any murders.
I initially held out some hope for the second plot-line of the writer’s sister marrying a man who is clearly going to turn out to be a controlling and abusive husband and who may have killed his first wife. Except the husband comes straight from the how-to-define-a-narcissist handbook and has no personality as an individual. This makes it harder to sympathise with the smart-but-blinded-by-lust woman he sets out to break.
I felt like I was one step away from watching “The Bold and the Beautiful” with a garnish of librarian-slaying. Now, I’m annoyed with myself for having wasted my time on this.