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Friday, 16 September 2016
THE DCI JONES CASEBOOK: ELLIS FLYNN by Kerry J Donovan
3 out of 5 stars On Amazon UK HERE On Amazon.com HERE On Goodreads HERE
I've read a couple of this author's other books, and still like On
Lucky Shores best, which I recommend highly.This one is a standard sort of British detective crime thriller, generally
well planned out.I liked the plot
itself, and thought the baddies were suitably horrible, very convincing.From what I can see, Mr Donovan certainly
knows his stuff about police procedures, no problems there.Some reviews say the plot is a bit
far-fetched, but this is fiction, isn't it?It wasn't a problem for me.
I thought where this book fell down was the characterisation/dialogue,
which was, at times, almost like a something out of a comic book, or a spoof;
Captain Jean-Luc, the French detective ('Jean-Luc,
the same as your Captain Picard inStar
Trek'), came across like something out of 1980s comedy series 'Allo 'Allo; he and Jones's sidekick Alex, a Swedish Brigitte Nelson type,
preface their English phrases with 'how
do you say' every five minutes, not forgetting Alex's 'ja' at the end of too many sentences, and their misunderstandings
of English phrases 'is this what is
called in England being a butter-fingers?' and something about uncovering 'the Ring of theVice'.We know they're
French and Scandinavian; it's not necessary to remind the reader every time
they open their mouths. I couldn't
decide if it was meant to be spoof-like or not; I just found it irritating.
The book begins with the wonderfully depraved Ellis Flynn's grooming
of young teenager Hollie Jardine; this made for an excellent opening to pull the reader straight in, but was, alas,
was let down by poor proofreading, and by the fact that part of the initial
detective work hinged on the discovery of some photo booth pictures of Hollie
and Ellis. Hollie was so excited
about these, persuading Ellis to have them taken.This leapt out at me: do teenagers do the
photo booth thing any more?I thought
that was more something of 15 or 20 years ago; these days, teenagers take photos
and videos on their phones, constantly.I know this is set in 2011, but virtually all teenagers had camera
phones/smartphones by then.
I'm sorry not to give a better review, because Mr Donovan is a jolly
good writer in so many ways, and I can see by others that this book has been
received very well, so perhaps it's just me!As far as the plot and suspense go it's fine; it's just the dialogue and
proofreading that let it down—and I'd still read another book by him,
especially if he wants to revisit Chet Walker!