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Pictures Hardcover – November 13, 2006
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Top Customer Reviews
It seemed that creative geographic energy stole from plotting and character development, because nothing quite rang true - most of the motivations were cartoonist at best, and not even stereotypical bad at worst.
In particular, Augustin II, a heavy weight protagonist and hereditary ruler of the invented Grand Duchy, seems contradictorily too simplistic and yet way smart to dominate events in the way that Daley manoeuvres.
But it is the world weary somewhat hero, Vince Conte who I found particularly annoying. Having side swiped his police career he's lost in the world until he spies the pretty damsel in distress. Not even the large dose of introspection and suspicion of his own behaviour - which I usually like in novels - covers up the cracks in Conte's overly cynical viewpoint.
So, not even a "by the numbers" book. Daley has written over two dozen novels, mostly fiction (and a handful with co-authors) so I'm thinking this dud is a one off. I'll probably read another of his books just to check, but that's only if it comes to me, after "Pictures" I am not going to actively search for it.
Inane remarks, boring repetitions, unappealing characters, poor scenic descriptions, and annoying errors abound. (When I drove from Monte Carlo to the Italian border, I went east; my atlas agrees. In Pictures, the Riviera road from Monaco to Italy goes west. And that's only one example.) The "romance" is appalling. The dialog would be laughable if it weren't so irritating.
I got the impression that Daley himself was bored to tears with this story and only wanted to get it over with. His previous books must be much better, but Pictures doesn't inspire me to try them.
Outraged Duke Augustin II, who already detests Tony for a lot of valid reasons, kicks this common trash out of the family home. However, his wife, Lady Charlotte cannot believe Tony could be this stupid so wonders if her son-in-law is being framed. She hires American security firm Probe, Inc. who have an earned reputation for discrete investigations, to uncover the truth. Probe, Inc. sends Vincent Conte to Europe to handle the case because he speaks Italian. No one offers him any information including Grizzard and Gigi until the peripheral players start dying, making the former NYPD cop wonder if there is something even more sinister than destroying a marriage.
Though lacking the stark suspense of Robert Daley's previous urban mysteries and nonfiction, PICTURES is a solid investigative tale starring a defrocked former cop struggling with a horde of Europeans, who refuse to cooperate even in some cases when death seems imminent. Vincent follows the money and corpses all over Western Europe as he tries to determine whether Tony was set up as Charlotte believes or just being Tony as the Duke accepts. Though somewhat more straightforward in plotting than usual, fans of Robert Daley will enjoy this European holiday thriller.
Well done, Mr. Daley!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This mystery is unique in several ways. The main character is an ex-cop (not unique) who goes to work for a large investigative firm that specializes in industrial theft. Read morePublished on June 23, 2008 by Rick Mitchell
Reviewed by Beverly J. Rowe
Vince Conte is back. He destroyed his career with the NYPD when he caught the deputy police commissioner coming out of a hotel with Conte's... Read more
A very good book based on it's premise. Should be entertaining to just about anyone.Published on October 27, 2007 by Joe D. Harris
As well written as you might expect from a Daley novel, it really is less and less a mystery as the reader begins to understand the people involved in the story. Read morePublished on August 13, 2007 by George E. Feldman
Fast read of a jet setting private investigator who traipsed all over Monte Carlo, Amsterdam, Milan and some unknown duchy in between, while trying to uncover the author of the set... Read morePublished on June 4, 2007 by Bertie