Sunny spring days, not something we should become acustomed to, but something I was enjoying on Friday none the less. A glorious sunny day, and as we have a patio table, chairs and umbrella, I was out in the garden all day long.
It was slightly wrong, I mean it was a Friday after all, and I wasn’t in work. So sitting outside doing very little was a luxury. Something to savour, like a good mint. I’m feeling a little less stressed at the prospect of spending my week off (not that week) doing my final two pieces of coursework. Why? Well I wrote three sides of A4. In long hand.
Then spent the rest of the day doing something I haven’t done in a long time. I read a book. I would say from cover to cover, but does it really count when you do it on your Kindle? Not sure. Anyway, I read the TV Detective, by Simon Hall. Interesting, as I don’t usually read detective books by English authors. I’m a huge fan of Nordic Noir, and the gritty American crime thrillers. It was a good book, but I’m not sure I was entirely engaged with it. This has possibly more to do with it being ‘on my doorstep’ as it were. Perhaps this is why I love reading foreign crime thrillers… it’s so far away.
Anyway, the book opens with some fantastic description of the rain. Wonderfully descriptive, and I truly felt as though I were stuck in the middle of a freezing winter rain storm. Chilling but comforting at the same time. It was a good read, I mean I actually read it from cover to cover (as I’ve said), not out of obligation, but because it was engaging. Mr Hall has quite a way with descriptions that immerses you in what it’s really like in the South West in winter (trust me I know, it’s atmospheric and spot on).
The only thing I would say that I struggled with, is that there a lot of hints of what could be there in terms of characters, but not actually getting there. What do I mean? well, think of Elvis Cole (Robert Crais’ World’s Greatest Detective [sic]) or Myron Bolitar (Harlan Coben). With these two characters you have these great asides that genuinely make you laugh out loud. You get the feeling that Dan and Adam could quite easily get to that point, and you know what? I hope they do. It’s going to make me read more of the series to find out if they get to that humorous dialogue that really makes characters stand out. You know, a little dead pan humour.
Anyway, I’d recommend you go and read the TV Detective, it’s a good book. I’d start with that one, as having been advised by the author himself, it’s the one he wanted his first book to be. It’s not as dark and moody as Mark Billingham’s DI Tom Thorne, but it has a unique element to it that is truly engaging. The characters are possibly more interesting than the plot, but I suspect that’s what kept me reading it. Hall creates good characters, that on its own makes this a book (and series) worth reading.