I think I’ve read too many mysteries. My evidence: I figured out whodunnit in my most recent read at such an early stage the book became almost unenjoyable.
I recently finished Alice LaPlante’s A Circle of Wives. The story centers on John Taylor and his mysterious death. The primary suspect would of course be his wife. Or in Mr. Taylor’s case, his three wives.
Detectives are told none of the wives knew about each other until Taylor’s death, but when is that ever true in a mystery like this?
My gut instinct on which wife was responsible was right, however, I did not accurately predict how she made it work.
The detective in the case is young and this is her first homicide case. She is doggedly persistent, even when her bosses tell her to drop the case because it has been “solved.”
I am guessing that was supposed to be the big plot twist … that the person who had supposedly done the crime and the case was closed was not actually responsible for the man’s death. But I saw through that.
While I was reading this book, I felt like the characters were underdeveloped. You didn’t really know that much about any of them outside of their relationship to the actual crime.
The character we learned the most about was the detective, Sam, but even that felt short-changed. She talked about all the issues she had with commitment, but never really explored why she had those issues.
Overall, I wasn’t that impressed with this book. It seemed a lot better in concept than in the actual execution. Or maybe I’ve just read too many mysteries and need to take a dip in another genre for a while…