Fallen Gods (Bob Skinner Mysteries) by Quintin Jardine
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|Fallen Gods (Bob Skinner Mysteries) by Quintin Jardine|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: Book 13 of this long-running series is again set partly in the USA. It's a reasonable read but certainly not one of the best.|
|Buy? Maybe||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 416/11h41m||Date: July 2003|
|External links: Author's website|
Deputy Chief Constable Bob Skinner's private life is set for the perfect storm. After a calamitous flood on the River Tay a body is washed up in a house and it proves to be Skinner's older - and hated - brother Michael whose existence he's kept hidden for years. Skinner's feels that he's back to full health after the scare he had in the USA: he's had a pacemaker fitted as a precaution, but there are those on the Police Committee who are taking the opportunity to try and rid themselves of their nemesis. His wife, Dr Sarah Grace Skinner is still in the States, clearing up her parents' estates and feels that her husband should be with her and supporting her: he feels that he should be in Edinburgh fighting for his job. She's sure that with her legacy, they don't need his job. On the professional front for Edinburgh CID, there's a very public piece of arson in a city-centre gallery - but what's behind it?
I came to a sad conclusion reading this book: I don't like Dr Sarah Grace Skinner. When the chips were down she thought only of herself and had no thought about whether her husband wanted to keep his job or not and when he decided to go back to Edinburgh and fight for it she had an affair with an old college friend who was 'there for her'. I was almost pleased when she was charged with murder and Skinner was forced to fly back to the States. That's all a good story: from the reader's point of view I wasn't so keen on the way that Skinner was seen to wade in to show the local dunderheads how an investigation should be run and to prove who actually murdered the victim, all by himself. It was just a bit too easy to be interesting.
On the other hand the arson is a good story with a few twists and turns, none of which I spotted and the story of Michael Skinner is sad, depressing because he wasn't and isn't alone in what he suffered. Fallen Gods is a good read, but not a great one: it advances the soap opera of the Skinner saga and private lives of the various police officers, but I didn't feel that it was unmissable. Given that we're now at book thirteen of twenty six (as at August 2016) it's probably not surprising and having read later books I know that the series picks up again.
I've been having problems with my vision, so rather than read the series I've been listening to audio downloads (which I've bought myself) narrated by James Bryce, who seems to have taken on the mammoth task of narrating all the Skinner books and turning a cast consisting mainly of middle-aged male Scots (plus a similar variety of Americans in this book) who would probably all sound pretty much the same in real life into individual personalities.
It might not have been one of the best but it hasn't stopped me from buying the next in the series!
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