Review: The Dark Place

October 25, 2013 at 10:37 pm (mystery)

The Dark Place
The Dark Place by Aaron Elkins
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This book and I got off to a really bad start, when clever and knowledgeable anthropologist Gideon Oliver somehow did not think of something that any Anthropology 101 student should be able to figure out. Heck, it was obvious to *me* and I’ve never actually taken an anthropology class (just hung out a lot with people who have).

Anyway, no amount of Gideon kicking himself for missing the obvious on pages 78-79 could make up for that, especially when it was blindingly obvious that Elkins only did it to provide a little suspense and some amusing difficulties for him … and possibly to provide an opportunity to rank on the stupidity of the Sasquatch legends a bit. These are not bad goals, of course, and the tactic would probably work a lot better on readers who weren’t grinding their teeth over Gideon’s denseness on this one point for most of six chapters.

Like they say, your mileage may vary.

So as the investigation trudged on and some really interesting and moderately credible things happened, I was still mentally grumbling over the beginning, and then when I became convinced that the ending would be really depressing, I put it down until the book was due back at the library the next day.

I was wrong, though – Elkins pulled a fast one that, again, would’ve worked better for me if I wasn’t already irritated.

I still like the characters, Elkins is a great character writer, and the various technical details about skeletons and a variety of other topics (though my husband swears some of those details are wrong). I won’t give up on this series just because this particular book ticked me off. Call it a 2.5 rather than a 2 rating, really.

View all my reviews

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