Of Hades, the first book in this series, I’d remarked that “this book fails to haunt my memory or raise the kind of moral & spiritual issues needed for five stars.” Such is true of Eden as well, but it has also brought back to me the distinctive pleasures of a series featuring very good fast-read four-stars with lots of thrills. You’ll probably never read the same one through again. (Martin Amis was horrified @ seeing the toll alcoholism had taken on his father when he’d found Kingsley re-reading a Dick Francis!) Instead, you’re eager to snap up the sequel as soon as it appears. Indeed, Fall has already been published in Australia & I am so jealous of the Aussies, as neither Amazon.com nor Amazon.co.uk has it yet. In the meantime, if you’ve not yet read Hades, drop everything now & read it, & then you’ll really be ready to enjoy Eden, which is even better. I found it hard to get into Hades Archer’s backstory, which alternates with the current adventures of detectives Eden Archer & Frank Bennett. But it was worth the effort. We find out that the young Hades was perviously known as the Dogboy of Darlington & how he acquired that sobriquet, as well as how he exchanged it for Hades. In the main plot, Eden goes undercover @ a farm run by real low-lifes to find out what happened to some girls who disappeared. Of course you’re expecting her to kick some serious arse & you’ll not be disappointed. I also liked Frank better this time. He’s still your generic middle-aged divorced male detective found in squad rooms from Oslo to Aberdeen to LA to Sydney & who deals with grief by opening another bottle. But he does a good job of being a cop in this one as he seeks out the mystery of Hades’ long-lost love. Like Frank, we feel every sense of the word ‘awe’ towards Eden: fear, fascination, admiration & attraction – the way you might feel if you shared your home with a leopard. Unlike my favourite fictional detectives such as Cassie Maddox or Lacey Flint, Eden’s not someone you wish you could have as a friend & fortunately for us, ‘What would Eden do?” isn’t applicable to most of our life-choices. But as a character in a story book she’s pure 190 proof bad-ass chick & huge fun to follow. Despite my resolutions to devote what leisure time I have exclusively to the pursuit of aesthetic & spiritual excellence, I’m salivating to lay hold the next in the series.
My thanks to Netgalley for an advance gratis review copy.