December 22, 2011

Locked Rooms ***

*** Locked Rooms, Laurie R King, 2005

More Mary Russell goodness from Laurie R King, this time set in San Francisco. This time around Mary herself is in trouble and the mystery to solve concerns something that happened when she was six, during the aftermath of the great earthquake of 1906. Something she knows nothing about, but which has placed her life in danger.

In keeping with King's penchant for weaving in real or fictional characters of renown, a well-known American detective teams up with Holmes to play a significant role in the investigation. Prohibition also plays a big part, along with flappers and other icons of the Roaring Twenties.

On a technical note, all previous Mary Russell novels are exclusively in first-person POV. Locked Rooms has sections in Mary's first-person POV interspersed with sections in third person omniscient (sort of) which chronicle Holmes' side of the investigation. This technique is continued in the next Mary Russel novel, The Lanugage of Bees.

It also features something that King tends toward, a large section (30 pages) that explains all the backstory and pulls the strands together. Of course, Doyle himself used this technique a lot, so it's appropriate for the genre. Such sections can get tedious, but didn't in this instance.

Another Mary Russell novel worth reading. Get on it.

1 comment:

Mark Spyrison said...

I like the covers for some reason. I'm not gonna tell you what that reason is, though. Probably because I don't know. It's looking out of a window right after some kid knocked a foul ball. Only where'd the kid go? There's just a field and a building through that broken window. Kids!