Monday, 12 December 2011

Original Sin

The 9th Adam Dalgliesh, this one is actually set mostly in London, which is fairly rare for the series. The setting is a firm of publishers, who have suffered from natural deaths, a suicide, a number of malicious pranks and, finally, a murder. And things don't stop there, a number of other murders follow on, generally involving attempts at being disguised as either suicides or accidents.

This is an excellent novel, with one major setback. I did not find the motive convincing. The motive is essentially an extremely long-term attempt at vengeance and, while I'm sure such things do occur, I thought it lacking. I did think the manner of attaining vengeance well-thought out and very well-planned, however. The final twist was rather depressing, particularly given the fact that I think the intention is for the reader to sympathise with the murderer (which may be why I found the motive troubling). I thought some of the characters behaved in ways that were very out-of-character (third-police-officer-whose-name-I-forget in particular), which rather spoils my enjoyment of the book, as I find it very jarring to be thinking "but that makes no sense - they wouldn't do that", though it may well illustrate my inability to understand human behaviour rather than anything else.

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