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  • Interesting mystery

    Enjoyable, supernatural drama with a period setting that adds to the story. And makes you appreciate the niceties of our modern life like being able to vote!

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  • Angels and Demons

    I haven't read any of the other Pluto's snitch series, in fact I purchased this book in error as I don't like starting a series of books part way through. However, it did sound like an intriguing premise so I decided to just plunge on in and give it a go. I can honestly say that not having read any of the previous books was not a barrier to enjoying this one. The characters soon become clear in your head and the author shows you what they are all about rather than telling you. There is some background information given at several points during the story and whilst this was fine for a newcomer to this fictional world it may be an annoyance to someone who is reading "in order". There is a lot going on in this story. Setting aside the more spiritual and supernatural themes there is a lot about general 1920's social attitudes. Raissa is a thoroughly modern woman and finds that she needs to sublimate her personality and dress in a way that is not her usual fashion when she finds herself going to rural Alabama. A place where women are seen and not heard, where skirt lengths are definitely much longer than in her more metropolitan circles. She also finds that she is not expected, or encouraged, to have let alone voice an opinion and that despite women now having the vote rural Alabama is still clinging to notions and morals of 100 years ago where the womenfolk are concerned. Along with the heavy feminism thread running through the tale it also touches on attitudes towards homosexuality. Reginald very definitely has to hide who he is and you get the definite impression that Raissa is more than just his close friend and business partner, she is also his beard. The story also touches on corruption of officials, ostracism of those that do not conform to one set of rigidly held beliefs; eg. the sign when they enter Mission regarding Gypsys. The construction of the world is very well done and the descriptions of the strange society in Mission is very well drawn. I could not detect any judgment from the author about the sheer wrongness of the situation there, she allowed Raissa and Reginald to articulate that, what I did get was a clear and concise, almost bored, description of how it was and how it would be. Nice not to have something overdramatised or a "look how terrible it all is" agenda and for the author to allow their characters to speak rather than them overtly manipulating them to fit their personal agenda. Unfortunately, this is supposed to be a supernatural tale and I did find that this aspect was rather disappointing. Initially the nature of Gabriel was confusing and then you become very frustrated with Raissa for taking so long to figure out what is going on. There is a nice twist towards the end with the Pinkerton Agent (whose name I cannot remember but think it may have been Michael). There is a lot of drawing out events which I think was supposed to generate tension for the reader but I found it just dissipated things for me and everything felt rather slow going until the last 20% or so of the book when things get very pacy. Not a bad read, but not a great one either.

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