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Ratings and Book Reviews ()

Overall rating

3.4 out of 5
5 Stars
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All Book Reviews

  • Unique

    This is a very quirky and unique style combing a novel with seven separate short stories. To be honest I was a little confused at the start as the book opens with one of the short stories however once I’d got my head around the format I found myself enjoying the short stories more than the interlinking main story. It’s very clever how the author has pulled all this together and there’s some interesting twists, it’s certainly the most unusual book I’ve read so far this year.

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    5 person found this review helpful

    5 people found this review helpful

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Dark, twisty, intellectual and challenging

    Thirty years ago mathematician Grant McAllister devised a set of rules which defined all murder mystery stories, eg there must be at least one victim. He then also self-published a book of short stories called the White Murders which explored the way in which these rules interact eg if there are only two suspects. Now Julia Hart, a book editor, has come to visit Grant and persuade him to republish the book. Like Scheherazade, Julia reads each short story aloud to Grant (and the reader) but then points out inconsistencies with each story, she also draws out references to an unsolved murder of a woman thirty years ago which the newspapers referred to as The White Murder. Did Grant have something to do with that murder? I can only liken this to the film The Usual Suspects because of the way you think you are reading one thing, then Julia exposes the issues with the short story which makes you think something else. And then there are further twists and turns which throw everything into disarray. I think it is fair to say that this book contains pretty much every possible murder plot variation and keeps the reader confounded right up to the end. I started off reading this and not being very interested but by the end I was on the edge of my seat waiting for the next rollercoaster twist and turn. Dark, twisty, intellectual, challenging and deeply satisfying. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

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    3 person found this review helpful

    3 people found this review helpful

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Interesting anthology

    I had very high expectations of Alex Pavesi’s The Eighth Detective/Eight Detectives, I was imagining something like The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton – an intelligent and well-crafted mystery story. Eight Detectives is very different from what I was expecting – the book alternates between an over aching plot and 8 short stories of murder/mystery as an editor interviews their author about the equation for a great murder mystery. Although I really enjoyed some of the stories (the house on the island in particular), there were some I enjoyed less and so all of the pitfalls of an anthology were present in this book as well. The pacing was off as the stories I enjoyed I raced through and the ones I didn’t I felt like they dragged. With the one about the elderly aunt and her jewellery I actually started skimming which was a mistake for later on in the book! The little discrepancies that Julia notices were buried a little too deeply for me to notice and it would have perhaps been better if they were slightly obvious from the initial reading. I did really like how the book pulled all of the stories together at the end though and it was very clever and showed how well constructed the book was. I would have perhaps wanted a little more of the through-line plot - we only got the chapters with Julia and Grant discussing the books and then at the end it all felt a little rushed. It got to about 85-90% of the book before that plot really started to get going and I would have enjoyed a little expansion on it. Overall, Eight Detectives is a good anthology of murder mysteries, with enough to cleverly pull them together at the end, however I would have enjoyed a bit more expansion on the main story line. Thank you to NetGalley & Penguin UK – Michael Joseph for the chance to read the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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    1 person found this review helpful

    1 people found this review helpful

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Disappointing

    For lovers of Agatha Christie not for LeCarré fans. There is no character development.The plots are thin, lacking in richness of details, unrealistic Their “solution” are artificial, of the “ deus ex machina” type instead of derived from a clever complex plot. There is no particular quality in the writing. I kept reading on strictly because of the excellent N.Y.Times review hoping to discover a gem that never showed up In sum, for my taste a childish and boring exercise.

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    0 person found this review helpful

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