I’m rounding off July’s blogposts with what were two very quick reads. The first one is The Perfect Murder by Peter James and it was one of the books chosen to be given away on World Book Night 2014. It’s one of those books which is actually titled Quick Reads, I think they are supposed to encourage non-readers to take up reading, which is I suppose a good idea.
I hadn’t read anything by Peter James before although I believe he is very popular. The Perfect Murder subtitled Marriage Can Be Murder seemed like an apt read for me at he moment as we will be celebrating our 39th wedding anniversary on Sunday!
Anyway, to the book – Victor Smiley and his wife Joan have been married for nearly 20 years. It’s fair to say that they’re driving each other mad. Joan wakes up every night with Victor seemingly in training to be the world’s loudest snorer, he argues with everyone and embarrasses Joan all the time. He has been a disappointment, not even able to father any children.
Victor hates Joan and spends his time at home watching old Morse and Poirot episodes, in fact any old detective shows, and they give him ideas. Unknown to him Joan also has similar ideas. It’ll end in tears all round, you just know it.
In fact for me The Perfect Murder was just mildly entertaining, an okay-ish read, but if like me you read a lot of crime/detective books then you’ll find it very predictable.
The other quick read was Susan Hill’s The Boy Who Taught the Beekeeper to Read. I bought this one at a local library where they were selling off some old books. I didn’t realise when I bought it that it was a collection of short stories and the pages in the front with the vital information had been torn out by the library folks.
So I was a bit perplexed when the first story ended and I went on to what I thought was the next chapter, only to quickly realise it was nothing to do with the first chapter, which must have been a short story. That was disappointing because I thought the first story could have been written up into something much more interesting than it was, as it just ended abruptly on what was a really low note.
But the same could be said for all of the short stories really, especially Father Father, about two young women, still living at home with their parents and when the mother dies the father replaces her very quickly with a new wife barely older than they are. An old story which we’ve probably all witnessed, hopefully at a bit of a distance.
There’s nothing uplifting about most of the stories in this book, if you’re susceptible to depression it could put you on a right downer!