Silent in the Grave by Deanna Raybourn
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I picked this book up to read for the Vaginal Fantasy Hangout. Considering this was the pick for February, you can see how far behind I am with everything. I was kind of surprised that the second pick of the group would be a non-urban paranormal mystery, but I found myself quickly engrossed in this Victorian mystery. While I couldn’t put the book down, I find the gloss quickly wears off due to fridge logic and an ending that seemed a little too scandalous.
The story begins with Juliet’s husband dying. Being a proper lady, there are many proper things one must do for the funeral. I liked reading about all the pomp and formality, made imminently bearable because Juliet doesn’t care one real whit about them, but she follows through with it all because it is what one is expected to do.
I don’t want to spoil any of it for you because I do think it was very worthwhile read, but the fridge logic, man…In case you don’t know what I’m talking about, here is TV Tropes definition of this handy term, “It refers to some illogical or implausible plot point that the audience doesn't realize during the show, but only long afterwards.” There are certain things I’m willing to let slide, but what’s revealed about Juliet’s husband seems a little too far-fetched. I mean they were married for years and had grown up together, but she did not know him at all it appears. How did that happen? And don’t tell me that back then, couples didn’t know each other, and some couples today don’t know each other. This wasn’t an arranged marriage, and they’d grown up together. I don’t know, I could’ve accepted some of the things revealed, but the stuff with hubby was off the charts.
And there’s one maddening spot in the book where the author pulls away and doesn’t let us see what is truly happening, and it is maddening because of a later mention of a particular bruise and a fat lip that seemed to indicate something pretty sinister in my book, but doesn’t seem to be construed as such in this book. And I’m really trying not to be spoilery.
All-in-all the resolution of the mystery is where this book falters. I was really digging it until the end when everything started hitting the fan. Stuff just seemed to be coming out of left field. I was turning the pages going, “What?” And afterwards, I closed the book, slept on it, and the next day was going, “Wait, really, what?” Which is unfortunate because I’d loved the character progression of Juliet. Her slow blossoming was lovely to read.
I’m curious about the next book, which may be more tolerable if Juliet isn’t supposed to be lifelong friends with the victim and/or suspects. If she’s an outsider, it may all be understandable.
You may notice I haven’t mentioned Brisbane, our detective, except if you’ve read the book and know what the maddening scene refers to. Anyway, Brisbane was interesting. He’s still a mystery himself, and I don’t know how I feel about some of the revelations with him and I’m afraid if I think about him too much that he’ll go down in my estimation. I mean he’s a jerk, but he’s upfront about it, but really, he’s a first-class jerk. Ugh, I'm thinking about him now, and I do believe I would've kicked him in the balls. Still, I really enjoyed the book while I was reading it, but I don't like thinking about it afterwards.
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