*I did receive a free copy of this book for the purpose of this review. All views stated are my own honest opinions of the book in question.
Peter Pan Must Die follows an retired NYPD homicide cop as he faces one of his most challenging cases yet. Dave Gurney and his wife move to the country to live a more relaxed life. Away from the hustle and bustle of city life and the draw of crime solving. When Dave’s friend stops by with a rather intriguing murder case. To the courts the case is solved. The wife convicted. That’s that. But is it possible that Kay Spalter was framed? Was the trial botched from the start?
Dave’s friend, Jack, seems to think so. And Dave agrees. They set out to solve the case, with very different motives fueling them. They find out there’s much more to the case than originally thought. They quickly find themselves up against everyone else in a battle of innocence and corruption. With more than one suspect and several motives, will they ever solve the case and find out who killed Carl Spalter?
This is the fourth book in the line of Dave Gurney books. I can’t say that I’ve read the other three, but I did enjoy reading this one. I’m a sucker for dark crime novels with plenty of twists and turns. Peter Pan Must Die will have you guessing right up to the end. As I worked my way deeper into the book, I almost felt like I was working along side the other detectives. I desperately wanted to know who killed Carl Spalter, and more importantly why.
I did have a few issues with some elements of the story though. First off, Dave is a typical retired cop. When he’s doing day to day things, he seems very flat. Very emotionless, a bit agitated by the mundane. He has a knack for putting himself in harms way. Without that high, the thrill of the chase, he’s a bit dull. When he’s working on the case his character seems to come to life a bit more. This is when you’re able to really get a good sense of who he is and how he thinks.
Dave’s wife, Madeleine, also really fell flat for me. I know that she’s a supporting character… but as the main characters wife, I felt she should have been a little more developed. There aren’t many interactions between the two that don’t feel forced. Most of the time Dave seems to be highly irritated by what she’s saying or doing. The few times they do really communicate, he isn’t even really listening to her. That was probably the most frustrating element of their relationship for me. They seemed more like two people who lived together rather than a happily married couple.
I also had a few issues with dialogue at times. There were several times when a group of three or more characters would be talking, but instead of telling you who said what, it just read as lines of dialogue. As a reader, I like to know who says what. it just makes it easier for me to track a conversation. Rather than having to play the guessing game on where the information came from or who was thinking what.
Along those same lines, I had a hard time telling HOW someone said something. There was no indication of the tone or the attitude used to deliver certain lines and I didn’t feel like I knew the characters well enough to guess. For me, personally, it’s important to know how things are being said. It really adds depth to a character.
Other than that, this was an enjoyable read. The story behind it really did a great job of captivating me long enough to stick it out. I’m glad I did, because the answer to who killed Carl Spalter will leave you shocked.
About the author: http://www.randomhouse.com/author/106210/john-verdon
Author’s website: http://www.johnverdon.net/pages/index.php