A Light Cottage Read

From the cottage bookshelf, I finished reading (second try) Canadian author, Giles Blunt’s “By the Time You Read This”.  I’m not much of a ‘who done it’ fan, and this read hasn’t done much to change my mind.  Early into the book I knew it wasn’t a suicide, who had killed Catherine and possibly the motive.  The beginning and ending of this book were annoying, so much so they read like someone other than Giles Blunt had written them!  At page 10 I laughed out loud when “… Shane asked her if she needed to lie down, she had turned that white.”  Uhh … wait a minute.  They were in a pub!  A picture popped into my head of the woman sprawled on the floor between tables. 

When Blunt’s writing is weak or the dialogue dull, he tosses in an obscure word or phrase that snaps the numbed reader to attention.   By the time I got to page 35 of 308, I didn’t care enough anymore to be bothered looking up these tic-like obscurities and began skimming, searching for enough substance to slow down again.  

But, I admit to getting completely caught up in the momentum of the ‘middle’, where Blunt shines, finishing the book in one day even with cottage guests and lots of activities going on!  I developed a genuine liking early on for Blunt’s main protagonist, Detective John Cardinal.  The plot twists were beautifully orchestrated and tight – no dangling bits.   I even forgave Blunt for some shocking generalizations about depression and bipolar affective disorder that should have been more thoroughly researched, particularly since these were key plot elements, and he attributed the information being shared between characters to the brilliant and evil psychiatrist, Dr. Bell.

It stays on the cottage shelf for guests who want a quick, light read while on vacation.

TWO out of FIVE