Monday, December 18, 2006

#67 - By The Time You Read This

Reading the odd mystery novel is always kind of a treat; it's sort of like watching a solid episode of Law & Order, there's a level of predictability, but you're hooked until the end to see what happens. And here's where my awful reading habits from childhood come up and bite me, as more often than not, I'll skip to the last pages just so I know what's happening. Seriously? It's one habit I'm trying desperately to break. And I managed in this case, to read Giles Blunt's latest mystery without skipping ahead to see 'who dunnit' before I actually got to the final pages of the book.

(Okay, I'll admit I did flip through the pages quickly for clues but I didn't actually read ahead)

Annnywaay. I finished up By the Time You Read This by Canadian Giles Blunt this weekend. It's the fourth novel in his Detective John Cardinal series that takes place in the fictional Algonquin Bay, a small city in Northern Ontario. The title refers back to a suicide note left by Cardinal's wife, Catherine, found on the roof where she fell to her death, apparently killing herself as a result of severe depression. But was it actually a suicide or was she murdered? In addition to this gripping, and it truly is gripping, storyline, Lise Delorme, a coworker of Cardinal's, is caught up in a child pornography case, which rounds out the two central plots in the novel.

As the two cases weave back and forth, Blunt's skill as a magician of sorts when it comes to pacing and character development, and even though one big clue is revealed half-way through the book (it's tantamount to a conclusion), but the story remains utterly satisfying to the end. To an extent, this book is as much about how Cardinal gets to the answers as it is about the mystery itself. And as the second case unravels under Delorme's cautious investigative skills, both plots merge and divide, which also keeps you into the book until the end.

Anyway, I can see why Margaret Cannon called it the #1 mystery for this year, besides Fred Vargas's The Three Evangelists, which I loved, I didn't read another mystery I enjoyed as much all year.


Heather said...

Loved your review!! I enjoyed both Vargas' book and Blunt's book!

Beth said...

I can't believe you skip to the last page of a book. Tsk. Tsk.

I will only do that if I intensely dislike a book and know I am not going to finish it. (At my age, life's too short and there are too many good books to read to stick with a "bad" one.)

My Boy is Ten

My friend Heather took this photo a couple of weekends ago. We went for a walk in the woods. It was a bit cold at first, neither my boy nor ...