Tuesday, June 30, 2015

MURDER, D.C. by Neely Tucker

The big, life-changing discovery for me this year is that I'm not that big a fan of standard investigative books. For me to truly enjoy a mystery novel, there needs to be something more than just a detective (or in this
case, a journalist), walking around questioning people for 250 pages and then solving a mystery at the end. There needs to be something else to keep my interest. It seems like the only thing close to standard detective stories that I'm enjoying presently are Lawrence Block's Matt Scudder series. Books by him, as well as Lehane or Pelecanos or James Sallis, are about so much more.

Last year, I stumbled upon Neely Tucker's The Ways of the Dead and thought it was alright, so I requested this one as an Advanced Copy from NetGalley and thought I'd continue. It''s a follow-up novel about Tucker's character Sully Carter, an alcoholic D.C. Metro reporter who limps around the city for the whole book asking a bunch of questions to uninteresting people and eventually solves the complex mystery of: "Who Killed the Black Dude in the Sketchy Park?" The book does have an interesting conclusion though, I'll give it that. But there were many times while reading that I thought I wasn't going to make it there, and that's where the problems lie.

The sad thing is that I actually think that Tucker is a really good writer. I just think he needs better material. It's definitely a case of it's not the book, it's probably me. There are many people that will love this one if they like their mysteries relatively neat and familiar. This book is everything you expect and hope for and not much more. I fell asleep constantly while reading because the "not much more" is what I was missing. I need to be shaken up.


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