on June 1, 2008
Jane Haddam has been one of my favourite authors for years. One of the things I like about Haddam's books is that she managed to put you into the mind view of the characters, and make you feel sympathy and understanding for them, even the unlikeable ones. In her early novels, no-one was a two-dimensional caricature. Alas, she seems to be losing this knack: most of the characters in this book are lucky to achieve even two dimensions. The story is centred around a Paris Hilton-like character whose trick in life is to make other people's lives self-combust. The mystery isn't particularly gripping and the characters aren't engaging. I didn't actually care about any of them at the end, let alone who the murderer was. The underlying theme of the book is really about fame and why certain people are famous and others not, and why we value these people. It's a shame that it's not better realised, because there's a lot of really intriguing material there.