RogerBW's Blog

Revenge of the Spellmans, Lisa Lutz 28 June 2022

2009 mystery-adjacent; the Spellmans are a dysfunctional family of private investigators, but narrator Izzy is trying to get away from that. Of course it won't last.

Indeed, there isn't really much progress for Izzy: she starts in a moderately bad mental place, gets worse, and ends up in a somewhat better one, but I have no reason to believe she's learned anything and it won't happen again with similar bad decisions.

In spite of the court-mandated therapy.

ISABEL: I don't want to lie to you, Dr. Rush.

DR. RUSH: I'm flattered.

ISABEL: I don't want to tell you the truth, either.

Insofar as there's an actual investigation, well, a favour for a friend leads to the PI classic of a husband who's worried his wife's having an affair, and while there's no sign of that there's clearly something a bit odd going on. (Not to mention that there's another private investigator involved.) But this is very much the background to the story of Izzy's messed-up life, and the messed-up lives of the people she meets. (Often it isn't even her fault.)

Meanwhile Izzy's brother has a sudden personality change, her parents want her to come back into the PI business, her sister causes chaos and confusion through a combination of well-meaning interference and self-interest, various friends move away… it's more of the same, but it's more of the same done very well, and I haven't read anything else that does this good a job of making a very messed-up person interesting to read about and even sympathetic.

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Previous in series: Curse of the Spellmans | Series: The Spellmans | Next in series: The Spellmans Strike Again

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