RogerBW's Blog

No Time to Cry, James Oswald 18 October 2020

2018 contemporary thriller, first in a new series. DC Constance Fairchild goes to a meeting with an undercover officer, only to find he's been tortured and shot. And her superiors are determined to prove that she's the corrupt cop who did it.

So while there's still a police background this is mostly a lone hero story; and there's disappointingly little uncertainty about who's ultimately responsible, even if the structure of what's going on is slightly less obvious. (It is assumed that the only reason a rich corrupt man would not want his missing daughter looked for is that she's got something on him; to me the more obvious explanation would be that a bigger and more competent criminal has taken her to use as leverage.)

That said, the writing's solid, the people are interesting, and if the plot is mostly there as an excuse to move Con from scene to scene at least the scenes are interesting when she gets there. This isn't just a copy of Oswald's McLean series: Con is a very different sort of person, and while there's the possibility of a supernatural presence nothing happens here that wouldn't be readily explicable by conventional means. There's a harder and somewhat nastier voice here than in the Scottish books, and while I think I still prefer those it's very effective.

It's good, but… sometimes overblown? There's some of the same feeling I got from Who Killed Sherlock Holmes, that all the crap is being piled onto Constance, everyone is out to get her, and while I'm happy to see a protagonist persevering through adversity there are times when this seems like just a bit too much for her plausibly to overcome. The other minor problem for me is that, as someone who's lived in London, it comes across here merely as any large urban area rather than having its own personality.

None of this is going to stop me reading the next one.

[Buy this at Amazon] and help support the blog.

Comments on this post are now closed. If you have particular grounds for adding a late comment, comment on a more recent post quoting the URL of this one.

Search
Archive
Tags 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s 2010s 3d printing action aeronautics aikakirja anecdote animation anime army astronomy audio audio tech aviation base commerce battletech beer boardgaming book of the week bookmonth chain of command children chris chronicle church of no redeeming virtues cold war comedy computing contemporary cornish smuggler cosmic encounter coup covid-19 cycling dead of winter doctor who documentary drama driving drone ecchi economics espionage essen 2015 essen 2016 essen 2017 essen 2018 essen 2019 existential risk falklands war fandom fanfic fantasy feminism film firefly first world war flash point flight simulation food garmin drive gazebo genesys geocaching geodata gin gkp gurps gurps 101 gus harpoon historical history horror hugo 2014 hugo 2015 hugo 2016 hugo 2017 hugo 2018 hugo 2019 hugo 2020 hugo-nebula reread in brief avoid instrumented life julie enfield kickstarter learn to play leaving earth linux liquor lovecraftiana mecha men with beards museum music mystery naval non-fiction one for the brow opera parody paul temple perl perl weekly challenge photography podcast politics postscript powers prediction privacy project woolsack pyracantha python quantum rail raku ranting raspberry pi reading reading boardgames social real life restaurant reviews romance rpg a day rpgs ruby rust science fiction scythe second world war security shipwreck simutrans smartphone south atlantic war squaddies stationery steampunk stuarts suburbia superheroes suspense television the resistance thirsty meeples thriller tin soldier torg toys trailers travel type 26 type 31 type 45 vietnam war war wargaming weather wives and sweethearts writing about writing x-wing young adult
Special All book reviews, All film reviews
Produced by aikakirja v0.1