21 September 2009

Chicago mystery

In my effort to find new escapist reading, I not only picked up a book by an Austalian author (see The Broken Shore), but I picked up one by a Chicago author. In fact, I wasn't attracted by the "Edgar Award-Winning" notice on the cover, nor the Publisher Weekly "Best Book of the Year" note on the back. What I noticed about Theresa Schwegel's Last Known Address was that much of was set in the neighborhood where our book pusher, Mary, lives. In fact, a brownstone on the street where Mary lives [below] is mentioned in the book.

Mary might enjoy reading the book because of the setting. I didn't.

Schwegel [above] uses a first person narrative in some of the chapters, and I didn't figure out why until I was nearly finished. Before that it was just distracting.

The main character, a woman detective in the Chicago Police Department, who is fighting the good fight in an intimidating and sexist workplace, never really earned my sympathy, and I never really cared about her. The chapters that she appeared in were written in a third person narrative style, even though there was some dialogue. Perhaps those ought to have been first person narratives.

It was difficult to keep track of all the characters because so many of them came and went quickly. And because I was lazy and never cared enough to do the work necessary to keep track of them.

Her previous books probably deserved the awards they received, but this one gets none from me.

If you read it, let this little bit of the world know what you think.

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