Rebecca McCormick. Powered by Blogger.

The Canal Murders by J R Ellis - Review

Monday, May 20, 2024

As you know, I love this series of books by J R Ellis, and have read all of them. I was eagerly awaiting this one and have had it on preorder since like last November or something. It arrived on my Kindle at the very end of April and I started reading it just a few days later. My mum was excited about it too, so when she's read it I will have to see what she thought. I didn't love it, though. I liked the story but I thought the writing was just a bit terrible. It felt very much like J R Ellis is just churning them out. I've always thought that his writing a slightly terrible - he relies too much on adverbs, and he uses other words when he can just say 'said', and if I had to read about Oldroyd and Andy 'munching' on biscuits one more time I was going to scream. But this time it really felt like the dialogue especially was just rubbish. There were people pontificating all over the place, and a lot of 'telling' involved in the speeches people made, too. 

All of this is a real shame, because I love these books. I probably will read the next one, yeah, but it feels a bit like cheesy chips from a takeaway - you know it tastes good at the time but you also know you couldn't read nothing but this type of stuff because it wouldn't be good for you in the long run. 

So, the story. Steph and Andy are on a canal boat holiday from near Leeds somewhere, and they're in Saltaire near Bradford, staying overnight. They go into a pub nearby and witness a woman having a go at a woman in a group of people at the folk night there. The next morning, Steph is up early when she sees a boat coming downstream, and then she realises the woman at the tiller is slumped over, dead. Steph and Andy secure the boat and call the police. Javed Iqbal, who used to work with them in Harrogate, is the detective on scene. He soon realises it's a strange case - there is no sign of anyone being on the boat with Annie Shipton, the victim. He asks Steph and Andy to help (of course), and then asks if they can get Oldroyd to come along and help (also of course). 

Annie Shipton was one of a group of friends who lived on the canal. The others are Bridget, Bob, and Liz. Her ex, Ben (there were way too many people with names starting with B in this book), now lives near Haworth, and Liz's husband Roger is dead. But all six of them used to be in a folk band together, called Rowan. They split up and fell out a bit over copyright issues and money, but then Annie had persuaded them all to buy canalboats near each other. They all, middle class hippy types, seemed to think of themselves as a bit above everyone else. Annie had written a blog about people she didn't think belonged on the canal, and one of these people, Laura, was the woman who had a go at her in the pub the night before her death. Then there's mysterious loner Len, who speaks of the spirits who live on the canal. 

No shortage of suspects already, for sure, but then we add in people from Salts Mill nearby. The CEO there has grand plans to expand the mill, but Annie has been at the forefront of a petition against it. Then there's Sam, a young lad who got into an altercation with Annie over his cycling down the towpath. He's not a bad lad really but he's a worry to his mum, and he's also a suspect. 

There are far too many suspects I think in this book, which ended up a little bit confusing. I liked the setting, as always, for sure, but I just felt the story left me a bit cold. In all I'm given this three out of five. It's really a 7 out of ten, haha. 

No comments:

Post a Comment


Blogger news


Most Read