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Un-Weaving Tangled Webs
am 13. März 1998
Just put the book down for the first time since opening it. The investigator, journalist Mike Deacon, is a lovable cad and will remain with me while most mystery protagonists slip away. Tolerate a slightly slow start and be rewarded with a growing cast of characters just this side of outrageous. Thrown together and shaken, they produce pathos and humor. I laughed outloud at the result predicted by Deacon's mentor, "Dear, Dear. A latent homosexual who performs acts of gross indecency living cheek by jowl with a disturbed adolescent who will probably have no compunction at all about leading him on in order to blackmail him. You certainly have an appetite for trouble, Michael." And, breathed a real sigh of relief when I learned the fate of Barry's mother. Actually what Michael does have in abundance is compassion which is lovely to behold as the tale unravels. I enjoyed the use of contemporary London slang. The atmosphere is a strange melange of British cozy and modern social injustice coupled with a liberal dose of human evil. My only quarrel is with too benign police behavior. Odd, because in another work by Minette Walters, The Ice House, as potrayed in the recent TV production (PBS's Mystery series) the cops' persecution of their suspect seemed outside legal bounds. What's up? An intricate plot. Individual kindness contrasted with a background of depravity. The book holds you, the reader, at a slight remove. You learn the results of these folks actions and understand their motives in just the right order.