A rich man and a poor man are found dead of gunshot wounds outside a seedy bar on Barrington Street. The police declare it a murder-suicide, but bluesman/lawyer Monty Collins suspects it's a double murder. Helped by his friend, Father Brennan Burke, and hindered by his femme fatale law partner, Felicia Morgan, Monty explores the dark side of Halifax society: hookers, drug addicts, boozers, gamblers and people desperate to cover up a series of parties that got way out of hand. A threat of blackmail, and turmoil with his estranged wife Maura, have Monty singing the blues, lashing out at his closest friends, and spending far too much time in the bars of Halifax.
©2008 Anne Emery (P)2012 Audible, Inc.
I read the first in this series and loved it. Loved the characters...could not wait to follow them further. Second book was kind of a let down (attributed it to the subject matter and it getting in the way). Then I downloaded 'Barrington Street Blues,' the third one in the series...and I could not even finish it!!!
The "great characters" that showed up in the first novel do not change...at all! I remember saying in my review of that first novel that I could not wait to see how the characters evolved. Well, they don't. Their petty fights and doubts and conversations (which were endearing in that first novel) get ANNOYING. You find yourself saying: "SERIOUSLY? You are thinking that AGAIN?!!!" or "You are making that mistake in your relationship AGAIN?" or "We are having THAT conversation AGAIN?"
The flaw in character development COULD be overlooked IF the mystery was better...but it's not (granted, I did not finish this book -- maybe the conclusion is brilliant). The clues and leads seem to "drop" into our "A-Team Investigators" (a philandering priest and an attorney who's been making the same exact mistakes in his attempts to reconcile his differences with his ex-wife for three books now) as if by magic....And if you thought the parenthesis in that last sentence got in the way of the "sentence"....well, that's a preview of what happens in this novel (the personality "dramas -- and they ARE dramas -- become an annoying distraction)...I will certainly NOT download another Burke & what's-his-name mystery again. I wish them well.
I'd say it ranks above average, considering this is the third in this series for me in a short time span.
I enjoyed the setting and the fact that the characters were human with both good traits and flaws too--even Father Burke.
He is a wonderful narrator which definitely adds dimention.
I did get wrapped up in the story.
I'd definitely recommend this series by Anne Emery and suggest beginning with "Sign of the Cross" first.
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