Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Strange Fate of Kitty Easton by Elizabeth Speller

I received a galley of this novel from NetGalley for review. This in no way affected my opinions.

The Strange Fate of Kitty Easton is the second book in the series featuring amateur detective Laurence Bartram, veteran of the Great War.

Laurence arrives at Easton Deadall, to help with some projects, such as a maze being built on the property. Easton is also the site of the mysterious disappearance of five-year-old Kitty 10 years earlier. The mystery of her disappearance hangs over the crumbling manor, and still haunts the girl's mother Lydia.

I did end up liking the book – like, mind you, not love – but some parts fell flat for me. The book had the great set-up for a intriguing manor mystery, but there really wasn't much mystery until towards the end. Also, not much happened until about halfway through. There were some side events, such as the disappearance of the maid, and another event, but neither really added anything to the story. If anything, it just helped fill up pages, which wasn't needed, because I felt the book ran long, anyway.

One thing that irked me, that also irked me in the first book, are the characters' instant reaction to Laurence, which is to tell him everything the moment they meet him. Mysteries like these usually have characters that seem shifty and are keeping dark secrets, but the characters here had no probably spilling their guts. And I can't really figure out why they would confide in him as soon as they met him, because even being with him for two books, I still can't get a grasp on the guy. He seemed dull. Also, he didn't do much detective work, because everything he found out was usually told to him without any resistance, or he just happened upon a clue without even looking for it.

Now, as for the positives: the setting of Easton and the era: post Great War were described in detail. The atmosphere was definitely there. And when the story started to pick up, it was enjoyable. The twist at the end was unexpected and I was happy in the way Laurence handled it. It was both happy and sad in its own ways.

Now, I wasn't planning on reading the next book, whenever it gets released, but it looks to take place in Italy, so I might have to check it out.


Jason Gosseck said...

I also have a book review blog. I am always trying to connect with other writers, readers, publishers and authors, as well as other like minded people to connect and network with. I really enjoyed your blog.


Marg said...

I still need to read the first book in this series. I have good intentions, but haven't quite got there yet.