In this crime novel, a wayward handyman grapples with the suspicious death of his employer, a fragile choreographer who secluded herself in the Litchfield Hills. As the fallout mounts, the reader is taken to various locales in and around Manhattan, an escapade in Miami Springs and back again to the hills of Connecticut until this twisty conundrum is finally laid to rest.
My take: 2 looks
I invoked the “100 page rule” on this one. After a little over 100 pages, I still had no earthly idea what I was reading, and put it down. I didn’t know Jed or have any insight into him. Sure, I knew what I needed to know about his background and how he arrived to the place in the novel, but there was no depth of character or empathy at all. His drive to tie current events to the past fell flat for me, and offered no level of interest or anxiety.
The antagonists were merely irritating caricatures of know-it-all lawmen, but never raised enough rancor in me to side against them.
Time and again, I got the overall feeling that Frome was trying to go for the staccato noir dialogue and tone of James M. Cain’s Mildred Pierce or Double Indemnity. Instead, it read like swiss cheese and left out more than it offered.
I cannot recommend this. There are so many others available, like Cain, in this vein that are so much richer and more satisfying.
This book was forwarded to me by the author in exchange for my honest review.