I finished reading The Night Gardener last week. It was just OK for me. While I was getting into it somewhat in the middle, the beginning dragged and the ending was a bit of a letdown. There were also a few character arcs that I felt were unnecessary and kind of a waste of space. Pelecanos actually received some pretty good reviews for this book though, so once again, I feel like I’m missing something. Maybe it was the genre that I didn’t like? However, funny thing…
Now I’m reading The Likeness, a story about an undercover detective in Dublin who comes across a body of a woman the spitting image of her. So the cops involved use this “likeness” to their advantage, covering up the murder as an attempted murder and putting Cassie, the detective, in the middle of this woman’s life in attempt to find the real killer. The Likeness is a sequel to In the Woods. B&N didn’t have In the Woods, so I decided to start The Likeness and see if I needed to read its predecessor to understand it. I didn’t. The author, Tana French, gets you up to speed ASAP. The catch is that many years ago, Cassie and her boss create this dead woman’s identity for the purpose of another undercover operation. She’s not real. So, how does she wind up dead in the Irish countryside? Good question. That’s what the characters in The Likeness are trying to figure out. I’m really enjoying the book, so my previous theory that crime fic might be a genre I just don’t enjoy isn’t holding much water.
In actuality, I think I was just going through a funk and The Night Gardener was not a good enough book to get me out of it. I think I got in the funk because I read, and became consumed by, the Twilight series in a little over two weeks time, and anything I picked up after that just wasn’t holding my attention (The Secret of Lost Things – boring; The World Without Us – while very interesting, too dense and not fast enough for what I need right now; and The Night Gardener…). I think The Likeness will help as I’m pretty into it so far – always a good sign.
What about you? Ever get into a reading funk? Does it depress you like it does me? I just felt out of sorts these past few weeks without a good book by my side.