The characters were so neurotic I found it difficult to enjoy the story. While I was reading the story, I asked myself why am I spending time reading about characters who are so unappealing that I would probably try to avoid them if I knew them in real life? The author seem to sprinkle the "F" word liberally without much justification for its usage. Like the author was saying, Hmmm I haven't used the "F" word for a couple of pages, and I better stick it in on this page.
Okay, so the price is what first caught my attention.... Then the fact that this is the first in the series clinched it. If I could give this 3 1/2 stars, I would, but 4 is okay with a couple of reservations. First the good. The mystery is quite compelling with a count-down beginning with the deaths of two policemen. Each successive death is carried out with a different method, confusing the police and reader. The various suspects make perfect sense along the way, and the tension builds quite nicely. I had a sneaking suspicion regarding the eventual culprit, so I was close to the "who" but not the "why." The latter was most believable. So, a satisfying end. My biggest reservation about this book is the drawing of the main character, Ian Drake, DI. The author goes to such lengths describing his OCD that the character becomes one-dimensional. Drake's rituals are repeated ad nauseum, enough already! And the many references to slicing and dicing sudoku completely went over my head. Since it appears that Drake will agree to counseling in the next book, maybe that aspect of his character is minimized in the second offering. We can hope. The other problem is also with Drake. He describes himself as graying with bags under his eyes, spreading waistline (attractive, huh?) and years of police service. But he has children 5 and 7 years old, giving you the idea he's much younger. I would like a better mental picture of him next time out, and I will try the next in the series.
Good writing, but there were some problems. First, as many readers commented, While it was a good attempt to make Drake, the lead character, different than the standard detective, the OCD in the main character was overdone . Second, the plot dragged because it had to be obvious to even the most reading-challenged that all of the suspects being chased by the detectives were red herrings. They just had no motive to do all of the murders that happened in the book, no matter how hard the writer tried to make it so. Part of the reason I slogged on was my wondering how long it would take Drake to really figure this out and was a little disappointed that there had been no real reason to suspect whom the killer turned out to be.
And it seemed that the detective wasn't clever enough by half to work this out by himself. It's okay for writers to mislead readers about whom to suspect and give us a surprise at the ending. But it is not okay that we are never given any clue about the killer until 80 percent of the book has been finished and the denouement is then rushed through.
Many thanks to the author / Joffe Books for the digital copy of BRASS IN POCKET. Opinions expressed here are unsolicited, unbiased, and entirely my own. Two traffic cops are brutally murdered with a crossbow while on duty. There are messages left by the killer .. the number 4 spelled out in traffic cones.,, lyrics from famous rock songs.
Days later a politician is stabbed to death. Once again, numbers are left as clues and different song lyrics.
Drake and his team have no clues, no motive. They suspect more murders in the near future.
It turns real personal for Drake when his parents are threatened.. and then his wife and children.
The story premise is solidly paced. There are many suspects with as many possible motives.. almost too many to keep track of. Inspector Drake is not an extremely likable character. He suffers from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, constantly washing his face and hands and spending many after hours organizing his office. He's a bit abrupt and judgmental of the members of his team.
I consider this a police procedural as the author spells out exactly how the investigation goes. Drake describes it as grind and more grind until the hard work produces a nugget of intelligence.
This is the first of a series. It will be interesting to see if Inspector Drake makes some drastic changes along the way.
This had a good story line and plot. As murder detective mysteries go it was interesting, but the author went into quite a lot of detail in the most simplest things that I really didn't think was necessary. Also so many characters were introduced that it was confusing to remember which ones really had a bearing on the investigation. The story went much too slow and I kept hoping the investigator would hurry up and get the puzzle solved before the killer died of old age. I had the puzzle figured out long before he even discovered the answer. I hate it when that happens. I had to fight to keep from getting bored waiting for the light bulb to finally go off in his head. It seemed to drag on and on until right up to almost the end and then things finally sped up. But all in all it was a good story and it kept me interested to see if my conclusions were right. Mr. Puleston is a good writer and I believe this is his first book so I'm sure his talent for story telling became polished as time went on. I gave it 5 stars because it was a good suspenseful tale.
What a long and thought provoking novel that I couldn't help but read FASTER!! This novel is my first review of this author's books, and I could barely keep up as I wanted to help the Drake catch the killer of two traffic cops! The meticulous Inspector Ian Drake had a thing with solving puzzles, but as he dug deeper he discovered that his parents may be targeted as they were sent some pictures in the mail! Under enormous pressure Drake left no stone unturned as he tried the figure out what the lyrics meant.