Color Tour (Ray Elkins Thriller Series) Kindle Edition
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|Length: 292 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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The book ends without any resolution for the multiple murders committed. It just ends with the characters having a glass of wine.
Even if it had a stellar ending this book and the 2 others just falls flat. Major writing cliches are rampant throughout (like the authors obsession with cheeses) horrible dialouge ("what do you think?" "I don't know what did you think" " well I need to think about it" - really? That's the best you can do?).
Major plot holes, huge forward leaps in time that are unsupported. Probably my biggest gripe with all 3 books is that they are so clearly formula driven writing its insulting. Added to that the assumption that any time he gets himself stuck, the author just makes up some key past event that has no substantiation in the previous events.
It is the 2nd of (so far) 8 mysteries featuring Ray Elkins, sheriff at a small community on the shores of Lake Michigan.
Ray comes across as level-headed and deeply caring about his home town and its people. He is single, middle-aged, and has a thing for great cheeses, oils and wines. There was a woman living with him, but their relationship gradually shifted to being good companions without the excitement of romance and love, and she has moved away to be closer to her new grandchildren, feeling her family now needs her more than Ray does.
A young couple is murdered on the beach, the woman having been a teacher at a nearby boarding school. Rays investigation leads him deep into the close-knit world of an elite private school where teachers, students and staff are together almost 24/7, with all the conflict and issues people can have with each other in such an environment. Throw in a load of teenagers with raging hormones, some teachers with alcohol problems, budget worries and internal politics, and you get an explosive mixture.
This wasn't an instant guess; for a long time, I did not know who the murderer was and how everything was connected. The only thing I found rather foreseeable was the development of a new romantic interest for Ray, but that wasn't overdone and not unrealistic.
The school and its surroundings, Ray's house, the victim's cottage, the lake - everything is described so well. That includes the people; one can almost hear their voices and see them move.
Links between the community - where most of the staff comes from - and the school itself with its rather elite approach, as well as the complex relationships between colleagues, friends and lovers are explored and form part of the puzzle.
There are a few typesetting errors, but not enough to dampen my reading pleasure. Stander's writing style is good, clear, not too long-winded but still poetic enough (where appropriate) to set the inner cinema in motion.
Not having read the first book in the series did not matter. But I am really interested in reading more.
Characters are no more believable than the dialog.
I am not sure how old Aaron Stander is, but he evidently does not own a digital camera. "They were on a CD I took from her camera." Really, a CD? Even in the 90s cameras had memory cards. That was 20 years ago.
Seems also not to know about using computers (or phones) to search tax records. "... I was able to get the township assessor to come in very early this morning to pull an address off the tax records." That is way better than running a simple records search. Does Aaron have any clue how much info is available on line? Also why not just phone?
If I were to decide on a life of crime, I would do it in Aaron's world, because these guys are just plain stupid.