Sharon Boltons A Dark and Twisted Tide is a crime novel. Wow! My second, if you don’t count The Adventures and stuff of Mr. Holmes, Monsieur Poirot and Miss Marple. My experience is therefore thin. My liking is, if possible, even thinner. As is the story.
The cliché-carpet, however, is thick and flourishing. The dialogues are contrived and stupid – police people explaining to each other what they really, really should know. There are few surprises and very little suspense. The killer is … an utter surprise, however, not because you couldn’t expect it (after all, every single person mentioned in the book is closely connected to the plot, as it is in real life (not)), but because he/she hasn’t showed even a touch of his/her psychotic nature before it is suddenly revealed that he/she is a severely disturbed killer.
The language is every-day certified: no difficult words, no creative solutions, no uncomfortably long and complicated sentences, nothing that might bother the average brain. Thus, it is boring, predictable and a good lesson in how it shouldn’t be done. And yet: it sells. It’s popular. Which says a lot about the value of popularity.
No! No, I say!