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Saturday, August 13, 2011

A Cursed Inheritance, by Kate Ellis (British ed.)

This was a British, psychological, psycho killer book, with intertwined storylines and the requisite twist at the end. This is the first Kate Ellis I've read, and I think I missed the much-needed background on the relationships that the series' characters have with each other by reading a book so far into the series. Some of that stuff fell flat for me.

The description on the back cover says that this is a West Country crime novel that features "Wesley Peterson, one of Devon's first black detectives." Wesley studied archaeology at university, and he's a thinker when it comes to solving crime.

A client of a spa claims her jewels have been stolen. The body of an obscure true crime writer is found in the local river. Meanwhile in the U.S., two centuries-old skeletons have been disinterred, with musket balls signaling that the cause of death was by unnatural means. How do these relate to a decades-old murder of six people in a mansion?

This book is very readable, but I had a problem with Wesley. He realized that a couple of the people peripheral to the crimes might be in danger. He does nothing to protect them, except later wish he had done something to protect them. (Thus advancing the plot dramatically, however.) He has an awkward relationship with his wife that needs mending, doesn't see his two children much -- and one of them a baby -- and he passively-aggressively flirts with a co-worker and the widow of the murdered man. Maybe I'd feel more kindly towards him had I read the prior books.

1 comment:

  1. Wesley Peterson sounds like a complicated character. I can see why you might have problems with him, but your description made me want to read the book. Who among us wants to sympathize with the protagonist in mystery books? And who doesn't mind dealing with a flawed or even malicious character?