Monday, 17 February 2014
Review - Good Clean Murder, by Traci Tyne Hilton
I didn't like this book at the beginning; I felt it started poorly, because the writer failed to engage my sympathy with the milquetoast heroine. The way Jane put up with whatever she received, including grossly offensive behaviour by police officers in the opening chapter, left me wanting to hit her with a brick, and I really did not care what happened to her.
However, about three quarters of the way through the book, the reason for this repulsive passivity became clear, and was turned to good account in the story. It was at this point that the story's central point, about pride and humility, became clear, and the point was well made.
Despite this, which made up for a lot, I do think that the reader's sympathy needs to be engaged with the central character much earlier in the book. Not everyone is as compulsive about finishing books as I am, and if I weren't so compulsive, I'd have abandoned this one after the first chapter or two.
The other fault I would mention is that there were many technical terms used without any explanation. No doubt people working in the mission field will know all about 'the 10/40 window', 'closed countries'. 'TULIP' and 'tentmakers'. I, however, despite a lifetime of regular church attendance, do not, and I feel sure my ignorance is widely shared among the reading public. This kind of thing is offputting to the general reader and can easily be avoided.
Finally, trailer-park dialect expressions such as 'off of' and 'needs cleaned' have no place in narrative, except in certain particular kinds of work, of which this book is not one. More rigorous editing could have picked these up to advantage.
Overall, I did quite enjoy the book, despite my initial dislike of Jane, but not enough to read another.
Good Clean Murder is free at AMAZON