White Bodies & Entry Island

 

I have been a big fan of Peter May since reading the The Lewis Trilogy, a dark, moody series I loved.  This is a different setting and a very different type of book than those.  Sime is a Canadian Detective of Scottish descent, who must investigate a murder on an English-speaking island in a primarily French-speaking part of Canada.  He is unfortunately paired with his ex-wife on the case which is one source of tension.  The wife of the victim is the main suspect and immediately upon meeting her Sime feels a strong sense that he knows her.  His connection seems to deepen and the book connects back several generations to a tragic  love story, which had its roots in Scotland.  This is a murder mystery with a strong historical romance element and an almost fantastical feel with the “lovers across time” theme.

Both storylines were well done and as with The Lewis Trilogy, the writing is very atmospheric with a well-developed sense of place.  I am not generally a historical romance reader but I enjoyed this and liked reading about a time period and events which  I did not know much about.  Well written romantic mystery.  I am going to recommend it to my friends who regularly read historic romance because a lot of them are fans of the Outlander and other Scottish romance novels.  I think fans of those books would find a lot to like here.

White Bodies is this month’s read at the Kindle English Mystery Club.  This is a psychological “thriller” about twins.  Shades of Single White Female (the 80s movie) and Gone Girl are evident here although the author desperately tries to connect to the Patricia Highsmith classic, Strangers on a Train, instead.  Personally I think it is a stretch to compare this  to Highsmith’s writing.  Quite frankly, I think anyone who tries to compare themselves to Patricia Highsmith better be on point.

I can’t really say specifically what I didn’t care for here.  It just seems very Lifetime movie-ish and read like a YA book, lots of immaturity, self-absorption.  I had to hold myself back from skimming somewhere in the middle because it didn’t really hold my attention.  Themes of obsession, mental illness (NPD and Pica in particular), and deception abound.  Two characters that are introduced and are in quite a bit of the book, Wilf and Felix, don’t seem to be fully fleshed out.  Wilf in particular seems to just fill this “a girl NEEDS a man” purpose.

It seems to have quite good ratings, so  others saw something here that I did not or maybe I just wasn’t in the right frame of mind for this.

 

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