Wednesday, 16 October 2013

The Fire Witness by Lars Kepler

Elisabet Grim is fifty-three years old.

This is not where a story starts. How do I know? Because there is no story in telling someone's age. The rest of the paragraph is no better.

Her hair is streaked with gray, but her eyes are bright and happy, and when she smiles, one of her front teeth juts out impishly.

I'm bored now, and I can't help but think that that is the intention. The only thing I like about that first paragraph is the last word, impishly, mostly because it is the last word.

Then we get back story dump: this woman is a nurse and works in a troubled girls' school, blah, blah, blah...blah

Of all the Lars Kepler books, I've only read the first one, The Hypnotist. It was okay and had a couple of real creepy moments, but I remember it dragging a lot. This is the second book by this couple we're reviewing and it's beginning to look like they have no idea where to begin their books.

Fortunately, the chapters are short (and there's no prologue, yay!) and by the end of chapter one, which is a page and a half, there is a story developing with a problem being introduced. I think that first page could have been shortened and put more to the point. The first chapter gets a pass, but the opening line is a fail.

First thing said (often apparently):

"It's the nice girls who end up here."

Verdict: Fail

Rudy Globird

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