The Business of Dying by Simon Kernick
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This novel seems to begin as a police procedural, but it ends, basically, as a thriller. It is an excellent read even though it gradually declines from a totally delightful, bizarre (and deeply amoral) first third of the book to the tired Ludlum-style idiocy of non-stop action in its last third. Lots of revenge-style action too, for the revenge-loving reader. This is a very brutal book and it includes some gory passages, which I do not mind because they serve the purpose of emphasizing the underlying message of moral ambiguity. At the same time, portions of this book may be even viewed as funny, if in a sick way. The writing is not stellar but quite good, way above the typical bestselling mysteries or thrillers. One item irritated me - the number of times the main character is able to instantaneously recover after or during a savage beating. Phrases like "... with every last bit of strength I had left I wriggled over..." remind me the funny saying from my childhood about cartoon characters "With his last bit of strength he regained his full strength." I lost count how many times this happens to Dennis Milne.
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