Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Dark Mirror by Barry Maitland

Well, I lied. Inadvertently, of course. I really did intend to wait a while before I read Dark Mirror, the tenth book in the Brock and Kolla mystery series, but I found myself reading it after all.

The plot is good, if the ending a tad unrealistic (which is something of a trend with these books). A university student working on her doctoral thesis collapses and dies in a London library, and is discovered to have been poisoned with arsenic. Kathy Kolla is assigned the case--her first really big case as a newly promoted Detective Inspector. But while the evidence starts to point to suicide, there are some strange details that don't add up.

Brock doesn't have much to do in this one, which disappointed me. He and Suzann argue and make up. Kathy proves once again that she has terrible taste in men. Same old same old. You know, the whole reason I fell for this series was the subtle characterization, the hints that Brock and Kathy might eventually end up together. That's long gone. When I was a kid, occasionally my brother would talk me into playing chess with him, and eventually he'd corner my king so that I had no choice but to move him back and forth, back and forth as my brother repeatedly moved his own pieces to keep my king in check without quite being able to checkmate me. This series has become that kind of chess game: repetitive, nothing new happening, the characters making the same moves over and over in each book. Maybe if I'd read them over the course of years instead of months I wouldn't have noticed it quite so much, but it's really obvious and really boring.

Anyway, there's only one more book in the series that I haven't read yet. And I warn you, I'm planning a trip to the bookstore on Thursday.

B&N link


Kelly Robinson said...

I won't know what to think when your blog isn't all Maitlandy.

K.C. Shaw said...

Don't worry, when I run out of Maitland books I'll go back to Georgette Heyer's mysteries.