Song of the Dead - Douglas Lindsay
Reading Challenge Category: Free ARC from NetGalley
DI Westphall's first investigation. A dead man walks into a police station. He tells a tale - bizarre as it is grotesque - of kidnap and organ harvesting. John Baden's story of being held prisoner for twelve years sounds far-fetched - but it's all about to get much, much stranger. DI Ben Westphall has been given the case because of his background in MI6. He also has a knack for getting inside people's heads and seeing things others would miss. Westphall is no ordinary detective and this is no ordinary investigation. When his suspects start dying, Westphall realises someone is killing to cover up the truth. But what exactly is the truth? To find out, he'll have to question everything he's been told, before there's no one left to ask.
Well, this was a very bizarre book, and I can’t say I enjoyed it all that much! The first ten chapters are just about DI Westphall travelling to Estonia with random stories from his history thrown in. When they do discuss the case of the re-appearing man and what he says happened to him over the last 12 years, it is just a few paragraphs. This is the story I signed up for, with the DI as the interweaving character. However, the book appears to be mainly about the DI with the case being in the periphery; this makes it is really slow going and quite boring. You keep expecting it to jump to someone else’s perspective, but it doesn’t, it just carries plodding on. The action scenes are quite gripping, but the in-between bits just feel drawn out and unnecessary especially the random stories that come out of nowhere about smaller characters. I kept expecting these stories to tie in somehow, but they didn’t. They were merely random stories about random characters that had nothing to do with what should have been the main story. The premise of this book had potential but it wasn’t executed very well, it was as if the author had all these other elements that he wanted to ram into a book, and this one was as good as any. Fortunately, the investigation did pick up towards the end, and this element was quite interesting and had some twists that I wasn’t expecting. However, it was ruined by the very bizarre supernatural element that had been included in the book. The DI seemed like a raving lunatic for what he was prepared to believe. This element lost the story any credibility. This was the first in a series, and I won't be reading the follow-ons!