Not a Great “In Death” Installment

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The book starts off interesting. We follow Dennis Mira (husband of Dr. Mira) who is off to confront his cousin who he finds is trying to sell their grandfather’s home that they both were left in his will. After getting to the home, Dennis sees his cousin bound and is then hit from behind. Afterwards, he and Dr. Mira call Dallas to help out with what they think could be a kidnapping. Dennis’s cousin is a former Senator so it could be someone from the Senator’s past is out to get him.

I think this book was supposed to give us some insight into the Mira’s and it really did not work. Apparently we have a lot of people finding Dennis Mira to be mentally soft. I honestly don’t know what was going on there. He has always appeared to be befuddled but very sweet. And you know that he is really sharp at times. But Robb took that characterization and made it seem like he has some sort of disorder that everyone appears to comment on in the family.

Eve in this one felt like the Eve we had around New York to Dallas (in Death #33) and I was really disappointed. If Eve is always going to fall apart, need Roarke to soothe every time she investigates a rape case I would rather skip those stories then. And it doesn’t even make sense since we had Eve able to deal with the events in “Devoted in Death” without her acting like this. It felt tacked on and honestly it felt like something added to make Roarke’s presence necessary. He’s not really integrated into the story-lines seamlessly anymore, but I also don’t miss the days when Roarke who is a very busy businessman would just take days off to help Eve investigate.

Roarke. Bah to him. The character really worked my nerves in this one. But honestly, the fight between Dallas and Roarke was off-putitng. They fought over decorating her office and the bedroom. I have to say Roarke came off wrong through the whole thing and I almost screamed, seriously, her changing her office means she accepts you now? Are you high? Who freaking cares. I have a bad feeling we will be reading about colors, swatches, etc. for the next ten books or so. I always thought of him having that home office built being Roarke’s ultimate expression of love. Heck this was just brought up in “Festive in Death” which is only about a month behind this book timeline wise. So we go from that to Eve must change to show growth crap again. At this point I can see why long time fans or just clamoring for Eve to be promoted to captain, have a baby, and move the series to focus on someone like Peabody. I still say the best thing for the series would be for it to fast forward itself. Even long running series I love like Mercy Thompson and Kate Daniels have an end book/date in mind because unless you do some major shake-up the books become stale.

I really thought the overall mystery aspect of this one was lacking. Honestly, I just don’t see how the bad guy(s) in this one were even able to pull something like this off for about what was it, 40 years? It was way too far-fetched for me.

The writing was typical Robb and honestly I think that was to it’s detriment. This book despite the subject matter was a little too paint by numbers for me. And the dialogue that Eve has with major characters was a bit too much for me too. At this point I cannot think of anyone that does not know about Eve’s past. I think it’s fine she told people, but her rehashing things with Peabody, telling Mr. Mira, talking to Roarke about it, started to feel very filler like to me as I read. I honestly had a huge disconnect with Eve when she tells Mr. Mira and talks to Dr. Mira about it later thinking because of the marriage rules Dr. Mira had told Mr. Mira. Um no, Eve revealed something to her that was personal and hard. What doctor would reveal that to their partner or husband/wife? It makes less sense when you read the series and you find out that Eve never told Roarke about Mavis’s past so even Eve gets you don’t tell your husband everything. Okay moving on.

New York in winter was pretty much the same which is weird to me. I would like it if we actually had the team go to other cities/states more often like in “Devoted in Death” since that way you can see how other police forces work.

The ending was a letdown. I think it was because we’ve had so many of these the victims are terrible people, but Eve is going to do her job books too often in the past. I just did not feel as engaged as I wanted to be while reading.

Romance Bingo Card

Sorry everyone. Seems things are going haywire (more than usual) today. I have posts going up that I have not even hit to publish.

Thanks to Olga Godim for putting together an awesome bingo card!

Some people asked could they still use the card and I say go for it. Due to site issues, we just decided to not host a bingo at Booklikes. We may move it over to Goodreads, but I know a lot of people do not have Goodreads accounts or do not like Goodreads practices regarding reviews/shelves. Here’s hoping that maybe things get better and we start to see an uptick of people here again in the future.

The idea is to start this bingo January 1, 2017 and ending it on February 28, 2017.

-Blue

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A New Spin on the House of Usher

I read this for the Goodreads Horror Aficionados October group read.

So all in all I wish I had liked this book more. I loved Robert McCammon’s other work I read, “Boy’s Life”. I thought this book would be more like that, instead it was not as engaging and I ultimately did not feel connected to one character in this book.

Usher’s Passing starts off with an Usher confronting Edgar Allen Poe and how that man came close to revealing the secret of the Ushers. I got to the ending and I am still at a lost everyone how Poe was anywhere near the reveal that was the ending in this book. Anyway, we fast forward to present day with Rix Usher being visited by his brother Boone telling him that their father is about to pass away from Usher’s Malady (the disease that strikes every Usher eventually and ultimately kills them) and he needs to return home to North Carolina.

The story segues back and forth between Rix and two other characters.

A secondary story is about a boy named New who is one of the mountain people who have lived near Usherland all of his life. After berry picking with his brother Nathan, we have New’s brother disappearing with New realizing the so-called Pumpkin Man and his panther Greediguts (why oh why this name) stealing him away.

The third story revolves around a woman named Raven (get it, do you get it?) Dunstan who is looking into the disappearances of children near Usherland and also what are is the Usher family going to do when the patriarch Walen Usher passes away.

I think if McCammmon had stuck with one of these three to tell the story maybe it would have worked better. I honestly didn’t like the character of Rix. I found him weak and judgmental of everyone else around him. He is so focused on not being anything like his brother Boone or his sister Kattrina, that he doesn’t realize he is just like them in any manner of ways. Rix is a aspiring horror author who wants to write a story about his family so he can finally make a name for himself. Going home and seeing his family and beloved family servants has him wondering constantly if being in charge of the Usher billions would really be a bad thing.

Some of the secondary characters felt a little more developed, such as Edwin fared better in this book. But others such as Mrs. Usher, Mr. Dunstan, and New’s mother were not very well utilized.

Weirdly enough I think the diary entries told from Walen Usher’s mother point of view and also Cynthia Usher (Rix’s great great grandmother) were better done. Sadly the book didn’t dwell too much on them.

I definitely like magical realism in books, but everything surrounded the mystery of New and his family and other families that lived on the mountain did not make a lot of sense to me. I think that I would have liked it better if McCammon had not tried to over explain everything. Just let a thing be because of something unknown. I think that is why I was ultimately so let down by this book when I got to the end. When you get to who was behind all of the strings going on I was like, really? Okay.

Raven never felt fully realized to me as a character. There is no rhyme or reason why she is trying to investigate children’s disappearances. Her total 180 on Rix in the end didn’t make any sense to me at all.

The writing at times was pretty gruesome. At one point I thought I could almost smell the decay of Walen Usher’s body based on all of the writing. I just wish things had flown together more. This was a long book and it felt like nothing really got going til I got to the 85 percent point in the book.

The setting of the house of Usher was done very well though. As was the so-called Lodge. I could see both of them in my head and everything took on a dark shadow due to it being autumn would most of the story took place.

I did feel letdown by the ending though. I think this was McCammon’s read of a happily ever after. I think the reveals were not that great, except for the explanation behind the Pumpkin Man.

Jamaica Inn by Daphne DuMaurier

I am trying to decide if it is even worth bothering to try to do the Jamaica Inn buddy read on Booklikes, or if the site issues make it an exercise in futility! It took forever to even access the book catalogue to add the book to this post!

We were meant to have started the read on Saturday, but I am ready to jump in today. Now, the question is, here or Goodreads? I put up a post over in the expats group as well, so if you can’t get the comment section to work here, post there.