Uta Hagen--

"We must overcome the notion that we must be regular...it robs you of the chance to be extraordinary and leads you to the mediocre."

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Death Collector by Justin Richards

The seventh book I read this year was The Death Collector by Justin Richards.  Again, I finished this book a while ago, so I apologize for the delay of this review.

TDC is set in Victorian England, which is what originally drew me to this novel.  After I read the beginning line I was convinced that I had to read this book.  The novel starts out "Two weeks after his own funeral, Albert Wilkes came home for tea."  I am, by all means, convinced that that is the best opening line of any novel.  Maybe even surpassing Chris Crutcher's Whale Talk.  However, I kind of lost interest in the novel after that.  It may have just been the style that it was written in, but I just couldn't focus on the text and it wasn't sticking in my brain.  If I had not been on a time frame to finish it, I don't know if I ever would have. 

The novel is a mystery.  Remember how a while back I was saying how much I hate mysteries?  Well, Richards did a very nice job with this book when it came down to it.  It kept me guessing all the way up until the end and I was very surprised I didn't figure it out sooner.  So, Mr. Richards, good job.  Seriously, this is the only mystery of the few I've read that I couldn't figure out.

However slow the beginning was, the latter part of the middle and the ending were really nicely written and at points I couldn't put the book down.  It really picked up and I was really glad to see that.  I could start piecing together the puzzel, but then something would happen and I knew that I wasn't right.  And if I was right, I still didn't have all of the pieces to make it fit. 

I got a little confused because Liz, one of the main characters, left her elderly father alone for quite some time, despite the fact that he is very dependant upon her.  Sir William Prothroe reminded me, unexpectedly, of Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean.  He just had this kind of jumpy, jittery, "Hey-whatcha-doing-OhMyGoshLookAtThat" air to him.  He kept me laughing, I will say that.  I loved how all of the characters came to know each other, and I've gotta mention Eddie.  He's so cute and funny, but I think a lot of times he feels like the third wheel.  But he's probably my favorite character from this whole book. 

I liked the ending, because everything made sense.  Justin Richards didn't forget to bring anything full circle or to light, and I greatly applaude him for that.  It seems to me that you'd have to be an organized person to write a full-blown mystery such as this, especially one so wonderfully written.  That's probably why I don't like to read them, nor will I ever write one.  *grin*

However much I enjoyed the ending, I will say that I expected a love to form between Liz and George.  And I mean a confirmed love.  You could infer that they loved each other and that they were going to have a life together, but nothing was every said to confirm this.  And so I say, Mr. Richards, sequel?  ;)

I rate this book 3.5/5 stars.

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