The Murder Exchange by Simon Kernick
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
The five star rating scale implies the following categories: Excellent, Good, OK (Satisfactory), Poor, Failure. Three stars is exactly what this book deserves. It is an OK book. It is a satisfactory book. Nothing more and nothing less. "The Business of Dying" (four stars from me) by the same author has a wonderful undercurrent of moral ambiguity. It is more than just a crime story. Despite the total idiocy of its fast-action ending, "The Business of Dying" got me thinking.
No thinking needed in "The Murder Exchange". It is an archetypical page-turner (which is a pejorative qualification for me; why would anyone want to turn pages fast instead of savoring the beauty of the language?), relatively well-written, with characters broadly yet adequately drawn. The ending is again written in an idiotic extremely fast-action style, reminding me of, say, Tarantino's "Reservoir Dogs" (which, at least was a comedy), yet, reading this book is not an unpleasant way of spending some time with your brain turned off.
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