Saturday, November 14, 2009

"City Of The Sun" by David Levien

Nearly two years after their son disappears, Paul and Carol Gabriel are forced to get the help of private detective Frank Behr when the police appear to be doing nothing. Behr is haunted by the death of his own son, so this latest case hits closer to home. He's eventually convinced to let Paul accompany him in the investigation, which opens up leads that suggest the boy is still alive.

"City Of The Sun" has rave reviews from other writers, amongst them being quote-whore Harlan Coben, but also from Michael Connelly and my own favourite - Robert Crais. So I did hold out hope that this would be a dark, suspenseful experience. And while it is a dark story, there just wasn't enough going on for me to be truly gripped. Behr's sources, which help him in developing new leads, conveniently pop up when needed. And the answer to the "mystery", when it comes, is pretty by-the-numbers, with a pretty outlandish climax.

With precious few plot twists (if any) to ratchet up the tension, it's pretty much the reader wallowing in the misery of depressed, burnt-out characters. A follow-up has just hit the shelves, but I might pass on it.

By the way, the long absence between posts is due to a faulty laptop, and a lack of funds in obtaining a new one. In that time, I've also read "Life Sentences" by Laura Lippman. But it was a boring, pointless pile of shit that doesn't really warrant a review - and is the first book I've ever taken to a second-hand bookstore. Both that and "City Of The Sun" were simply too easy to put down, so that's why I've done little reading in the last couple of months.

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