Break Down – Sara Paretsky

Setting: Chicago, USA. 

Story: On a mission to find a misbehaving young girl, Private Detective V. I. Warshawski tracks her down in a group of teenagers holding a vampiric ritual in a cemetery. Their joint surprise is the discovery of a murder victim. Who was the victim, why was he killed, and what is the connection with the young group?

Good Stuff: There is a mystery.

Not So Good Stuff: Cardboard characters, dull dialogue, and barely any tension. How bad can it be? Awful. This is novel writing by the numbers, and it’s as exciting as reading a spreadsheet. (This criticism dose not apply in the case of dedicated accountants.) There is no life in the book. None.  The unravelling of the plot is about as involving as unwrapping a fish supper – but with the fish supper, at least you get a decent meal and a nice smell. Just dreadful.

Score: 4/10. One for the cover, one for the opening quote, one for the mystery, and one for the sake of kindness.