Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Review Time

By The Time You Read This — Giles Blunt

The title of this mystery/detective novel is taken from the suicide note left to Detective John Cardinal by his wife — the wife he loved dearly and who suffered from a history of depression.

Faced with the facts of her death, the note, her history and the ruling of death by suicide, Cardinal refuses to let the matter rest. Prompted not only by his love and faith in his wife’s desire to live but by eerie clues and circumstances that arise, Cardinal sets out to prove she was murdered.

While others consider him paranoid and deluded by grief, Cardinal investigates her death in his own unassuming, methodical and brilliant manner. (Some of which falls out of the realm of accepted police procedure.)

With John Cardinal, Blunt has created a memorable character you can connect with — you feel his anguish and applaud his determination. He’s no flashy, fast-talking, womanizing “cop” but a good, decent man doing his job who ultimately encounters unthinkable evil.

Set in a small northern Ontario town, the commonplace and ordinary lives of its citizens provides a startling contrast not only to the evil that unfolds in Cardinal’s investigation but to a secondary plot involving child pornography.

I don’t like reading about gruesome deaths and I abhor child pornography but Blunt handles both these subjects with care — does not exploit them for a “thrill” factor.

Unlike some murder mysteries where you must wait until the end to find out “who done it,” Blunt lets you know early on who the villain is. Thus, the suspense comes from wondering how and when this character will be discovered before he commits yet another horrible crime. I find this far more nerve-wracking than those “wait ‘til the end” tales. It put me in a “Hurry, hurry, catch him,” frame of mind which, of course, makes for a fast and furious read.

Award winning Canadian author Giles Blunt has created a well written tale with an excellent plot, believable characters, beautiful descriptive passages, suspense and drama.

By The Time You Read This is the fourth in a series of books starring Detective John Cardinal. I’ll be checking out those earlier ones.

7 comments:

oreneta said...

It's on my list....thanks

Beth said...

oreneta:
You are such a faithful commenter!
My Review posts are not always great "hits' (so to speak) in terms of comments.
(But I do note a lot of people checking out the links.)

Lynn said...

I think your book reviews are fabulous and this is the best yet. You make me want to read each and every book you discuss and in fact I have read most of them so far. Thank you for the advanced previewing.

Beth said...

lynn:
Wow. Thanks for those kind (supportive!) words. Hope you enjoy this one.
And I've enjoyed every book you've ever recommended to me...

Trish said...

I must admit I am not a murder mystery fan but you make a compelling argument for this one...

Now...whether or not it is available in our pathetic little library is another story.

John said...

If you're ever short of a book to read, and you haven't read them yet, give books by PJ Tracey and Karin Slaughter a go.

Incidentally, did you ever read High Fidelity!?!? My hat is still waiting to be eaten!

Beth said...

trish:
Your library should be supporting Canadian authors!
I don't like murder, gore, killing etc. in movies but I can read about them. I guess because I can skim quickly over those parts.

john: High Fidelity was part of my last Amazon purchase - it has to wait in line. Others were here first and are begging to be read. I'll let you know if and when you have to start chewing!

I've written down the names of those other authors. Thanks.