Book review

Written in BloodChris CarterSimon and SchusterReview: Lauren O’Connor-May

Written in Blood is part of a series of detective novels about the nerdy, all-knowing Robert Hunter.

Detective Hunter works for the Los Angeles Police Department’s Ultra Violent Crimes Unit, so needless to say, he has seen some gory murders.

By the time he enters this story scene, the reader has already been introduced to other peripheral characters, the foremost being pickpocket Angela Wood.

The story starts with Angela finishing a night’s work by having a drink at a bar.

There she sees three potential targets but decides not to take advantage until one of them is rude to an elderly man, so she steals his bag to teach him a lesson.

The man whose bag she steals turns out to be a prolific, skilled and resourceful serial killer who has gone undetected for many years and her theft makes her his target.

As the story unfolds, Detective Hunter, almost single-handedly, unravels the puzzles and clues that lead to the killer. I found this somewhat annoying. Why have a diverse cast of characters if their sole purpose is to set up the lead character to do everything?

I don’t read many crime thrillers but based on the trend in the recent ones, it seems killers are all geniuses.

This killer is no exception. He is so villainous he makes Hitler look tame. Ultimately, the novel climaxes with a showdown between the genius hero and the genius villain.

There are some really good crime novels out there but I don’t feel this one ranks among them.

There were too many tropes; the bumbling damsel who gets herself into trouble because she just won’t listen, the all-knowing detective, the genius murderer, the cop whose wife is angry with him because he gets carried away with his work, the kidnap victim, I could go on and on.