My book club met on Monday night to discuss Those Who Save Us. This was the first book all year that we all finished and that we all liked - quite an event for us. The enjoyment of the book ranged from those who thought it was 'fine, readable, maybe missing something' to those who 'really liked it'. All in all, it was a success. A good discussion of an atypical holocaust book, one in which we see the point of view of the German civilians.
Does this ever happen to you? You finally get around to reading a book by an author praised by critics and fans alike and find yourself...totally underwhelmed? That's what happened to me when I read P.D. James' Innocent Blood. P.D. James is well known for her detective series and since I don't generally gravitate toward those sorts of series I chose to read this stand alone novel.
The premise is intriguing. Philippa is an adopted British woman who upon turning 18 seeks to discover the names of her birth parents. What she discovers about her parents and their involvement in a murder is horrifying. Phillipa's story is juxtaposed with that of a man hungry for revenge who creeps around London hunting his prey. It sounds interesting, yes, but in actuality I found this book very...dull. There is great description of place, but the characters were one dimensional. Oh the characters! Never has a more unlikable group of people appeared in one book! The 'bad' people were utterly void of morals, and the 'good' or shall we say 'better' people were not much better.
I think Innocent Blood would have worked well as a short story. This format would have given the reader more of feeling of tension. As it is, the story plodded along until the last 75 pages which I found satisfying. Except for the very creepy and corrupt event that happened in the epilogue. Ugh.
Someone told me, 'If you're looking for a good mystery, you can't go wrong with P.D. James.' For me, that hasn't proved to be the case, but I'm willing to give her another try one of these days.