Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Calling of the Grave (Simon Beckett)

It's been so long since I've read a fiction book (ok, maybe a week or so, but it feels longer since I've been reading so much non-fiction lately). And while non-fiction is fun too, I miss reading fiction too much. And ever since my writing tuition teacher (Mrs Chua) told me I was reading too much fantasy, which apparently affects my writing, I switched to Thriller/Crime novels. A really big leap, but it's so fun too!

The latest fiction I got (and I just remembered, I read Undressing the Moon only a few days back.... how books like China: A new History can wipe your memory), is (again), borrowed from Aunty Florence. I have no idea where I'm going to get books after I stop piano lessons ):

Anyway, the book is The Calling of the Grave, and is the latest David Hunter by Simon Beckett. The story is (like expected), engrossing, suspenseful and with a really good and believable ending. It gives more background on David Hunter, since the case refers back to 8 years ago, before the setting of the first book. And thankfully, there are no confusing flashbacks, the past is in one section and the present is in another section.

Surprisingly enough, I really disliked the female protagonist, and I was really relieved when he doesn't end up with her (like he does with the last few books). But I guess she's a well crafted character, since she can make me actively dislike her, and she does seem very "human", since she does have some virtues and (many) weaknesses. Too bad, her weaknesses outweigh the virtues, but I suppose it's necessary to drive the plot forward.

So far, Simon Beckett doesn't seem to falter in the quality of his writing and his novels. And while the opening of each book is predictable (in the sense that each book opens with a fact about the decomposition of the human body), the openings are all unique in their own way, and serve to create a "context" or a "prologue" of sorts for the rest of the novel.

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