Tooth and Nail: Ian Rankin

#3 in the Rebus series. Rankin still hasn’t found his voice yet, and Rebus is much less than fully formed. He doesn’t belong in London, and Rankin was wise to make this his only foray in the series there. Full of flaws, but you can see the bones of what will come in the series. Brilliant that the publishers gave Rankin the time and freedom to find his way there. I doubt they’d be so generous these days.

Kingdom of the Blind: Louise Penny

Armand Gamache “IS” Penny’s detective series. He is what makes it, his uncompromising character, decency and actions.

In that sense, this book stays on track. Gamache still carries the series.

Penny reliably provides us with delicious writing, full of symbolism, metaphor and foreshadowing.

Unfortunately, the rest is slipping. It’s too full of easy plot twists, relying on sketchy MacGufffins, and loose editing. You could see the plot twist over who would discover the Carfentil right from the early chapters. There is really little reason for minor characters from Three Pines to even be mentioned, and some new characters are unrealistic.

Not her best, but by very definition not every book can be.

The Disappeared: CJ Box

I ended up reading this one when I was looking for the Joe Pike series on my e-reader and wound up with Joe Pickett instead. Some thoughts:

— it’s quicker to read than a Wyoming spring snowstorm
— it has more loose ends than a well-used, hand-made, Elk Hair Caddis trout fly made by an eleven-year-old boy with ADD
— there are so many plot holes that you’d be hard pressed to use it to net a twelve-inch Cut Throat trout without it falling through
— I’d suggest waiting for the movie, but I suspect this one would go straight to audio (not even HBO).

I should have been patient and found the Joe Pike.