Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Book Review: The Saints Go Dying by Erik Hanberg

The Saints Go DyingA serial killer has been targeting LA for over a year, and the police are struggling to find new leads. They are also continually exasperated by the spotlight shone on them by TV crime show Watchdog, with the show's staff taking every opportunity to ridicule the team, and worse. The killer masquerades as a modern Whore of Babylon, revelling in evil, and is killing modern day saints. As if Arthur Beautyman doesn't have enough to contend with, his secret hacking to help solve cases has brought his online persona to the attention of his unsuspecting colleague and potential love interest.

I love a good crime novel, and this definitely fits the bill for me. It is fast paced, with a bit of gory detail (not too much though), a likable lead detective and some smart twists. I found it a quick read, partly as it's not that long and partly because I got into it so easily and then had problems putting it down. Arthur is an interesting character, one who is pretty self-aware and admits to his weaknesses. Not being ultra-handsome or recovering from some major trauma as is often the case within the genre he is very human and more empathetic for it.

This storyline had a few twists and some humour to it, which helped make it such an enjoyable read, without being over-complicated. The identity of the killer was no major surprise, and I don't think it was meant to be, but the ending was very satisfying and tied up the ends nicely. I'm sure you could read a lot more into the book as a commentary on the role of the media in major investigations but I'm content to enjoy it purely as a crime story.

Looking at the negatives, there were a few typos I spotted that could do with a tidy up, and in places it seemed a bit far-fetched. However overall this was a really fun crime read, and I was pleased to see that the next book in the series is due in November.

Format: Kindle, review copy
My Rating: 4*

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