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Crime and crime writers have been a passion of mine since I could first read; I've always loved a good murder mystery with plenty of twists and turns and usually a nice complex end which the reader didn't spot along the way. My mum is an equally lover of this type of genre and gave me a big bag of crime novels, and Evil in Return by Elena Forbes was one of the books.
Evil in Return
This book covers the investigation into the murder of a famous author in a London graveyards crypt; the victim had been bound, tortured and then murdered. The killer had left a few clues and a phone call revealing that a body was in the crypt, the murder team must now find the murderer. The lead investigator is DI Mark Tartaglia, he is convinced that the author's popular book and supposed follow up is the reason for the murder and proceeds to prove that one of his university friends is responsible.
That's the hook line to get the reader to read the story, but in truth this is very poor detective literature, a detective with a mysterious past, rebellious to authority and a roving eye for the opposite sex. All these generics have been written with far more style and grace by other authors, the murder and the reasons are dull and unimaginative, and the eventual murderer is obvious really from very early on in the book.
Set in London, the author tries to a give a feeling of a big bad city eating the inhabitants and that living there is a dangerous business without being a success. The plot is ridiculous and the characters dull and uninteresting, the role of the success author who is killed for his book is a little silly as the book had been published years earlier, he wasn't exactly in hiding and why the torture and method of his death isn't explored. There is also a sense of Dan Brown style writing, a lot of cliff hanger chapter endings, short chapters and rather unconvincing dialogue between the detective and the suspects.
So as the crime genre slowly changes, we are left with these rather cheesy easy to write novels, there isn't any of the style of RT Raichev, the brutality of Stuart Macbride or even the elegance of a Colin Dexter or Peter Robinson we just have a rather tepid story, dull people and a really unconvincing ending.