Review: Cinnamon Kiss

Cinnamon Kiss
Cinnamon Kiss by Walter Mosley

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Less a crime novel than a character study of a man in conflict with his domestic life, his uneasy friendships, his position as a black man in a white-dominated society and his own sense of worth, all explored while he sets out to commit one crime and ends up investigating another.

This is Mosley at his best writing Easy Rawlins at his best, slipping easily between conflicting states, moralising and making judgement of others while not being afraid to expose his own limitations and blind spots, and struggling to demand respect from the world while engaging all around him from a default state that automatically demands he lie and bluff as his opening gambit at all times. Rawlins– and sidekick Mouse– is a joy to follow as a character, and it really doesn’t matter how convoluted or simple the crime might be. That’s not why the reader is on board. And while the mystery and its convoluted path towards conclusion are enjoyable enough to keep the reader’s interest in this novel, it really is only secondary to watching this fascinating, multi-layered, all-too human man wrestle with his demons, and decide which ones he will conquer and which ones he will, inevitably, call master. Superbly readable, thoroughly enjoyable, and full of style and humour. A delight.

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Review: The Bone Collector

The Bone Collector
The Bone Collector by Jeffery Deaver

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Stunningly realised work that both fascinates and repels in all the right places, with a protagonist– quadriplegic former police officer Lincoln Rhyme– who is among the most immediately fascinating and layered characters I’ve ever read in a crime novel. The characters are well rounded and play off each other superbly, with distinct and discrete voices– Rhyme’s assistant-come-antagonist Amelia Sachs is also beautifully realised and a fascinating character in her own right, something that can’t always be said for secondary characters in a novel of this type, and certainly not something that can always be said for female characters; the crimes are sufficiently shocking and contain an internal logic that makes them all the more riveting; and the counterplots that rumble along underneath the main narrative are taut and gripping in their own right. Let down only by a somewhat forced and slightly unbelievable double-climax which feels as the natural climax was added to in order to provide an additional moment of surprise, this is a rich, intense and gripping crime novel of the first water.

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THUMBNAIL THURSDAY LOVES THE FESTIVE SEASON (R). TM. PAT.PEND.

“Look, I hate to ask, but Rudolph’s sick and we really need the whole nose thing for our marketing obligations.”
Hey, Christmas is a big money-spinner, people. I alone have spent somewhere in the region of the GDP of Guatemala just on Lego this year, and that’s before I even think of buying for other people. Why shouldn’t Santa get into some of that sweet, sweet image rights moolah?
Enjoy your own special Santapalooza, folks. Here’s to presents!