Sunday, 7 June 2015

DNF Review: The Lion's Mouth by Anne Holt

I hate to give negative book reviews but you know when a book beomes too tedious to even finish that it's not going to be a good 'un. I had such high hopes for The Lion's Mouth by Anne Holt but unfortunately it just didn't deliver and after a couple of weeks of trudging through I decided to abandon reading althogether. So, while I can't actually give a proper review I thought instead I'll just tell you where and why the story lost me.

When the Prime Minister of Norway is found shot dead in her office the investigating police officers must move quickly to solve the case. Whether terrorism or a revenge killer, her death shakes the Norwegian public to its core and solving the case will expose scandals and secrets that must be kept from the Norwegian people.

There were two standouts that made this book a miss for me. I like my crime books to involve a lot of action, and by that I don't necessarily mean screaching car chases and officers pointing their guns at suspects on every page but there has to be some forward movement in the investigating of the case that piques my interest. In this respect The Lion's Mouth felt less like a crime novel and more a dull political novel. In 150 pages barely anything of note in relation to the Prime Ministers killing actually happened. The police barely talked to any suspects and the main character of the book (as suggested by the blurb) Hanne Wilhelmson had only just been introduced. There just seemed to be scene after scene of people talking, barely any of which seemed to be interesting or relevant to the case. I even got to the point where I was skimming each page quickly just incase something of actual interst  or importance was going to happen.

The second thing that helped the pace crawl to the pace of a snail was the introduction of many many characters who didn't seem to add anything of interest to the story. Now, since I haven't finished the book they could all be vitally important to the solving of the case, but at almost halfway through the book I still couldn't tell why there were so many boring conversations happening between politicians that only served to slow the story. There is an interesting story line which includes a journalist called Little Letvik who is getting information from an unknown source to publish stories regarding the Prime Minister. Unfortunatly this spark of interest is bogged down by other characters and storylines that are very slow to reveal anything to the reader.

Needless to say I didn't find The Lion's Mouth to be a crime novel that grabbed my attention or inspire me to finish the whole thing. Who knows, perhaps the second half of the novel is where all the action and plot lines start to become interesting, but with so many good books waiting for me to read there are other crime novels that I would deem much more worthy of attention.

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