[identity profile] monissaw.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] thelittledog
Gently at a Gallop, by Alan Hunter
From Doon With Death, by Ruth Rendell

I'm putting them together as they're similar books. Short police procedural/crime novels that were published in 1971 & 1964. They both rely for their resolution on something that, was at the time, somewhat unthinkable, and therefore works as a twist. When it is thinkable, after all I've encountered it before, the endings become predictable and even a little dull as you watch the investigators went their way to the "obvious" solution, while still hoping there might be another twist. The Gently book in particular was particularly slow in this respect, also there were a lot of things that... I'll call them lumps in the plot. Things that suggested something was not as it should be but were not followed up on. Not so much red herrings as a feeling the author wasn't sure where the story was going, or changed the end, and didn't go back to smooth out the loose threads.

I'm not sure about reading these books. They're the literary equivalent of an episode of a police drama TV series. Someone dies, the regular characters investigate with little/no side plots, the problem is resolved and everyone goes back to whatever they were doing; and they do that well but I tend to think if I'm reading a book I want something other than what I can get on TV.

Adam and Eve and Pinch Me, by Ruth Rendell.

This is more of a... actually not sure what to call it. I'd say psychological suspense but that is something different. Someone dies and as a result, lives are change. However, it's obvious from the start who will die and by whom, and the murder occurs about half way through. The book looks at the lives of various characters who were affected by the (soon to be) dead guy and what happened to them. Even though I didn't really care for the characters much, a shortcoming on the part of the reader I suspect, I was happy when they came to a happy end and sad when they didn't. I wanted to like the book, but nothing happened and slowly. Although, I think overall, I did enjoy reading it.

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