Tuesday 27 March 2012

A Top Notch Crime Novel: A Review of Grave Situation

My Book Review of Grave Situation by Alex MacLean:

I enjoyed Grave Situation by Alex MacLean on two levels, as a first rate, tense crime novel and more personally because of its Nova Scotia setting. The book is a fabulous psychological suspense ride and police procedural.

The book focuses on Allan Stanton, a Halifax homicide detective with a personal life in ruins who finds himself on the trail of a possible serial killer. While he investigates the murders in the city of Halifax, the killer strikes again outside the city, bringing Stanton directly into his path for a showdown.
What I loved best about this book (beside the fact it’s well-written) was the excellent and realistic depiction of the police force. Forensics, autopsies, investigative methods come across very genuine. Evidence results take time, leads are hard to come by, and the main detective is professional, if world-weary and a bit burned out.

Another wonderful aspect was the scenes shown from the point of view of the killer. He is not evil personified, but warped and we, as readers, are slowly shown why and how. This lends a sympathetic edge to the character and makes him a three dimensional person. In fact, all the characters in this book are marvellously defined and engaging.

I found the plot to be an above standard murder/crime story, and while it did head in the direction I deduced, an interesting twist was thrown in to keep the concluding events fresh. Now, while some of the scenes (especially in the beginning of the book) are a bit graphic, they are not gratuitous and paint the horror of the crimes and their aftermath skilfully. (But if you don’t like that sort of thing, be forewarned).

I loved Grave Situation immensely and recommend it highly.
Grave Situation is available on Kindle


Candy said...

Looks like a good book and I like your site. I particularly like to 'travel' when reading mysteries. Visiting Donna Leon's Venice, etc. is a bit more affordable than the plane ticket. I think I'll travel with Grave Situation soon.

A. F. Stewart said...

Hi, Candy, glad you could stop by. I like to "travel" when I read too, although I prefer my trips to be through history. That's what I like most about reading, "seeing" places without leaving home.

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