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3 out of 4 stars
Review by Jax14
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Detective Graham Brunswick is after a killer as a man and woman have been found murdered in the woods and a college student knifed to death. Graham has his eye set on a certain someone who managed to escape the legal system last time a spate of murders occurred. Woes add up in Graham's life as the investigative TV reporter Ruth, with whom he is having an affair, wants more than to be just his sideline, both personally and professionally. In a parallel story Susanne, who runs a guest house, is married to Jeff, but the seemingly idyllic marriage is not as it seems from the outside. The two stories are linked together in a bid to find the killer, but will secrets surface that threaten to shatter the thin line of trust?
On a positive note the author has a good style of writing. It's crisp and clean with enough description to allow the reader to easily imagine the scenes. Susanne's character and her spiral downwards was an interesting part to the story, but I felt the author only touched on her mental state and so much more of her anguish and confusion could have been explained. I did like the way the two sides were divided into different stories and then further into chapters; as you were reading you could tell they would amalgamate somehow. The editing was good overall but a lot of punctuation was inconsistently used before a quotation mark. I also thought it was very clever to show how a person's life can be changed by one misread note.
Unfortunately the ending fell flat for me as there is a huge lead up to a final scene and then within the space of half a page it's over. It was so abrupt it was as though words had to be cut for a word count. The relationships between the characters in both stories could have been delved into more and as a result I failed to feel the tensions promised in the blurb. I felt too many side stories were entered into; a clue or a threat was put forward but its relation to the main story sizzled out. The last thing that did irk me (and perhaps it's just me) is that a rule of thumb when writing about characters in a certain part of the world is to keep spelling consistent with usage in that part of the world. As I was reading dialogue between characters from Yorkshire things like colour were spelled color which jars the flow of my reading. I also found it strange that while pence and pounds were used correctly for monetary units, centimeters (American spelling) was used for length instead of inches and feet. I guess sometimes things like this just interrupt my enjoyment of the story.
Overall it was a good idea for a book but the twist was obvious early on in the story and too many tangents that were offered up were never explained. By no means a bad book I would still recommend The Most Diminutive of Birds to mature young adults and up and rate it 3 out of 4 stars due to the reasons mentioned above.
The Most Diminutive of Birds
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Besides that, the story seems interesting. Especially the character of Susanne.
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