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Absurdly Overcomplicated But Good
on October 25, 2004
The book keeps you racing from chapter to chapter, but when you take a breather you start thinking, My God, this book has too many twists. It would be enough if we had a slower story with the hero trying to deal with the onset of Parkinson's. It would be enough to read a novel in which the middle-aged hero has to come to terms with his surgeon father's apparent indifference, if not hostility, to his own practice as a psychoanalyst. It would have been an interesting story to hear of such a man's affair with a former prostitute. And then on top of all of this we are given an nastily complicated serial killer story, a tale so convoluted the word "Byzantine" may be properly used to describe it. And an inspector (Ruiz) who treats our hero (O'Loughlin) with the same fierce intensity of Inspector Javert in Les Miserables.
Julianne, the beautiful and accomplished wife of the psychiatrist hero, was at one time the object of his best friend's affections, so that Joe and Jock are in a love triangle battling for Julianne's affections.
By the time one hundred pages are done, you start wondering what incredible pit of complication you've gotten into ankle deep. Before you know it, you're up to your ass in confusion, but due to Robotham's infinitely painstaking plotting, and the narrator's wry humor, you wind up liking the state you're in. I can't see this book being the first in a long-running series with O'Loughlin, but I am very happy to hear that Michael Robotham is writing another book. This one already will win him legions of fans, both here in the USA and abroad.