Friday, 9 October 2009

Silent on the Moor

Deanna Raybourn's books are very easy to read. She can write a bit but doesn't really succeed at doing more than providing anything more substantial than a bit of light entertainment. This is the third book in the series. With a name like Silent on the Moor I was hopeful that she could pull off some good evocations of what it is like to live on a moor. I live on the edge of a Lancastrian moor myself, so I know there is a wealth of natural beauty and wildlife available to use to colour the narrative. Unfortunately our Lady Julia's eye only manages to see the people that live on the moor, the only wildlife are the pets and the six sheep that are alluded to though never seen. Other than it being wet, grassy, with the odd crag or bog, the moor has to make do with turning silvery in moonlight for its descriptive wiles. The characters are amusing, though there seems to be less and less wit as this series progresses and Brisbane has entirely become a caricature, a Heathcliff shaped silhouette for Lady Julia to play with. As detectives both characters are terribly inept, their modus operandi seems to mainly involve them pottering about waiting for the answers to come to them. In the gaps between pottering they mainly argue and pretend they aren't madly in love with one another. The only real mystery in this book is how on earth Deanna Raybourn manages to get through the entire writing process without using the word 'décolletage' once. My guess is there is a previous draft copy somewhere with the word scribbled out 137 times with an editorial footnote reminding the author of the chilliness of Yorkshire moors. The weirdest thing of all though is that I keep reading them.

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