Archive for 'Myers, Tim'
To review this book, I have to tell you about an eating experience I had some years ago. My husband and I went to a new buffet restaurant we had seen advertised. The food looked delicious and we wandered around the serving tables deciding what to try first. But when we took our plates back to the table we were surprised. The food looked perfect, but all the flavors were off. Ingredients, spices, sauces had all been put into the wrong dishes â€“ a dessert that should have had chocolate chips had raisins and a salad that should have been dressed had ice cream topping, for example. We finally concluded that the food had been assembled by someone who had a picture to work from, but no directions and no knowledge of the food or how it should taste. We concluded that little green men from outer space had decided to open a buffet in our town.
Now on to the bookâ€¦ A Flicker of Doubt looks like a book, it smells like a book, but the ingredients just arenâ€™t right. The book has a lovely setting in a candlemaking shop in an old building on the shore of a river. It has a central character, Harrison Black, and a host of eccentric people to populate the book. It even has a murder. But somehow, these elements donâ€™t hang together.
My biggest problem with this book is that the characters donâ€™t act and interact the way they should. Letâ€™s look at the murder victim, Becka, who was Timâ€™s girlfriend for 6 years and a friend for the last 10 months. In life, Becka appears to have had no interaction with anyone in this small town except Tim and the two main suspects. Almost no one expresses condolences to Tim, he doesnâ€™t contact her family, and no one, including Tim ever mentions any funeral arrangements. Yet Tim vows to discover her killer and bring him to justice, Becka apparently exists only to be a corpse and plot device.
And this is true for most of the characters. There is little description of them, no backstory, and minimal polite interaction between the characters. They exist only to move the plot along. This isnâ€™t what people are like in real life or in good books and it rings false all through the book.
Did I guess it? No. I spent most of the time reading this book trying to figure out why it seemed so weird. Will I read another one? No.
Mystery Book Reviews by Liz at reviewedbyliz.com Â©2006