Monday, July 22, 2013

Dead Old: Review

So...I picked up Dead Old by Maureen Carter for one reason and one reason only--Megan, the sponsor of the Semi-Charmed Reading Challenge, worked a "read a book with a main character who shares your first name" requirement into the challenge rules. There aren't exactly tons of Bevs/Beverlys out there in fiction-land.  After much hunting, I discovered the Detective Sergeant Bev Morriss series written by Carter and ordered up Dead Old from the library.  I'll just tell you up front....I won't be ordering up any more. I'm afraid my namesake isn't a particularly likeable lady.  She's headstrong, doesn't like to play by the rules, has a chip on her shoulder as big as a full-grown redwood tree, and thinks it's a grand idea to go on a drinking binge before going on duty (at least she doesn't drink while on duty, I suppose).  She's got an attitude problem with a capital "A" and can't understand why she was passed over for the acting Detective Inspector position.  Hmmm.  I wonder.

Oh...what's it about?  Well, elderly women have been attacked by a gang of teens--robbery with violence and the violence has steadily escalated.  When Sophia Carrington, a former doctor, is found murdered, the West Midland Police think she's the latest victim of the gang.  But Bev Morriss doesn't think it's quite so simple.  Sophia is found with a bunch of daffodils stuffed in her mouth...a definite departure from the gang's MO.  Bev is sure the flowers have a more personal meaning.  But no one wants to listen to her--she's ticked off enough people and stepped on enough toes with her blunders, outbursts, and bitterness.  And it doesn't help that the DI appointed over her has taken an immediate dislike to her.  Bev has to go against orders and work pretty much on her own (excepting the help of Oz her fellow officer and lover) to bring in the real killer.

This one just didn't work all that well for me.  It's hard to enjoy a story when you have no sympathy for the main character.  Most of Bev's problems seem to be of her own making--so it's hard to sympathize with her feeling that everyone (read everyone above her) is out to get her or do her down.  She seems to have a good head on her shoulders and good instincts and intelligence--it'd be nice if she'd concentrate on putting all that to her best advantage.  The crime itself was pretty interesting and I'm giving all of the star points (all two of them) for the mystery and the twists and turns the plot takes to get us to the solution.


Man of la Book said...

I've read books before where I didn't care for the main characters and I have to say that I agree with you and the book is not as enjoyable.

Col (Col Reads) said...

I think it's particularly hard to read a book when I don't like a character I'm supposed to have something in common with -- like we have the same profession or we're the same age. Or I guess even the same name. Sorry this didn't work for you!

Debbie Rodgers said...

I'm trying to work on Megan's challenge too, Bev - and there not a lot of Debbies out there either. I did manage to find one though, and I'm thankful that it was not the negative experience you had!

Thanks for the "plain talk" about this series. It wasn't on my TBR list - and I'll be sure it doesn't get there in the future.

Bev Hankins said...

@Debbie: Yeah, I can't even think of one Debbie in fiction.

Bev Morriss really is a train wreck...she makes me think of Elizabeth George's Barbara Havers--with an even worse attitude problem.