Thursday, May 01, 2014

Peter Lovesey. The Circle (2005)

     Peter Lovesey. The Circle (2005) Bob Naylor, widower father of a 14-year-old, driver for a parcel delivery company, and inveterate composer of verses, attends a writer’s circle just before a previous guest, publisher Edgar Blacker, dies in an arson. The police nick Maurice, chair of the group, and a couple of others wanting to clear him snag Naylor’s help. Meanwhile, DI Henrietta Mallin takes over the case when the local DI commits a booboo. An attempt on Naylor’s life and two more arson murders, a photo that points to the deep past, tensions among the circle’s members, and budding affection between Naylor and Thomasine, all make for a nicely complex story told mostly through dialogue.
    The effect is oddly visual, because I think we’re accustomed to TV mysteries with long stretches of dialogue punctuated with short scenes of almost silent action. A book written in this mode reads like a TV script. Whatever, the story moves along fast enough that any creaks in the logic can be ignored, the wrap-up arrest and confession are a bit hurried, but all in all this is a pleasant entertainment. **½

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