. A couple of years ago I read my usual favourite sort of book, a police procedural and it had an intriguing premise, someone murdered in a pothole. I mentioned recently that I had always wanted to go potholing and in my last teaching job I had the chance to go down a small hole in the ground – I wondered if I would enjoy it as much as I’d always hoped, and yes, I did! So I have been intrigued by potholing ever since; there was another detective book, written by Nevada Barr, Blind Descent which also had a murder in a pothole… but back to the book I mentioned to begin with, the potholing murder.
The book I’ve just finished reading is ‘The Whitby Murders’ by J.R. Ellis, the latest in his series of Oldroyd novels set in Yorkshire. The plot was clever, ingenious even, and I really had no clue what the solution to the puzzle would be, who had murdered two people in an escape room. The main characters were believable, but I confess I did get muddled with the names, for some reason (and maybe it was me) I kept forgetting which was which, especially as they were often referred to by their surnames so I couldn’t always guess and had to keep looking back to remind myself. I also felt that some of the minor characters were stereotypical – which was odd when the main characters were, as I mentioned, believable. I really take care when I write, to research – usually by observation of actual people, to make sure characters are plausible and convincing, not just in their personalities but in their names, what they wear and how they speak.
I have recently finished Damien Boyd’s latest novel ‘Dying Inside’ – which I will review tomorrow, and he is a master of characterisation – as well as fiendish plotting!