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There are some books that,while good, you flick through sections to get to the story. This book is not one of those. I treated every paragraph as a gem. I highlighted innumerable passages. I have not enjoyed a story as much since the late, great Terry Pratchett. Don't get me wrong though, this is quite different from a Pratchet novel. Inspector Hobbes is a thoroughly original creation. Do yourself a favour and immerse yourself in the adventures of Inspector Hobbes
Funny. Well paced. Good length. I enjoyed this book a lot. And the gradual development of the characters. From the pratchet-Igor like ninja housekeeper to the drunk dwarf who survived the gingerbread cottage fire. Think vicar of dibly meets ankh-morpork. And if that sounds like something that would tickle your fancy you will love this book. Moving onto the rest of the series with gusto!!
'A fast paced comedy crime fantasy' sounded like just the thing I needed.
It's okay, the writing isn't terrible, the story isn't too bad and the whole thing hangs together well enough to stagger along, though the pace isn't exactly what one would call 'fast'. Not in the slightest. Be warned, there are lots of awful puns, and terrible jokes and not necessarily for the better.
I do have issues with the book, which were initially distracting & eventually irritating, leading me to skip over any mentions of food, weather or car journeys.
* There are repeated, extensive, gushing descriptions of food and meals. So much so, that there seemed more emphasis on food than plot. * The continual bodice ripping overwrought state of Andy Capstan, and specifically repeated descriptions to his reaction to car journeys with Hobbes. * An encounter in a graveyard with two ghouls & the effect, or lack of, on our hero. It was totally incongruous reaction which didn't warrant much extensive thought and I felt somehow cheated that there wasn't more use of this as a plot device compared to attention given to food or Andys constant shrieking.
I'm up to page 200 in paperback edition, and it's now a slog. It's not offensive, but the dad joke style humour, gushing food descriptions and overwrought AmDram reactions detract from what plot there is and are simply overused & feel like filler.
The characters of Hobbes and Mrs Goodfellow and the various odd characters of their little town are intriguing enough to make me pick up the second book. The plot itself, whilst a bit thin, is also entertaining enough.
The narrator Andy, is an accident prone idiot who whimpers and shrieks or jumps and vomits at every odd little thing. He's annoying as hell for the first 80% of the book before somehow redeeming himself.
The comical disasters, word play, puns and comical misunderstandings are incredibly heavy handed and largely unfunny but there is a good natured warmth to proceedings.
But there's just about enough good stuff to warrant another go.
As others have said, this book doesn't have the greatest start. Andy Caplet is really jolly irritating and one wonders what on earth Inspector Hobbs sees in him. Hobbs on the other hand is much more interesting (possibly because he says so much less) and it was on the strength of his character alone that I kept on reading.
It's a cheerful romp but perhaps not entirely original - I can't help but notice similarities to the much superior Rivers of London series by Ben Aaronovitch. The humour comes thick and fast but is neurotic, over explained and overworked, if not actually beaten to death with a tickling stick, as if Wilkie Martin is terrified that we won't get the joke. It does improve a little as the book progresses and I was interested enough to take a look at the second in the series.
Cardboard characters, a silly plot and nothing to inspire empathy. Still, I was thinking something more must be around the corner. I bought it on an Amazon recommendation after reading the Rivers of London series. If you like the Peter Grant books do yourself a favor and don't buy this.
I haven't finished this yet but at around two thirds of the way through I can say for sure that I won't bother with the rest of the series. The main character/narrator has almost no redeeming features. Selfish, ignorant and cowardly. A flawed character is one thing, but there is a limit. Even Patrick Bateman has something about him. So far there has been nothing to make me warm to Andy in this book. The warning signs are there early on when he comments that the woman at work that he is mildly infatuated with could stand to lose some weight. I actually stopped reading at that point. I returned to it a few weeks later out of curiosity. How bad could it really be? Pretty bad.
I've noticed a few others on here commenting about the author's use of commas and sentence structure in general. This is often appalling and has the effect of stopping you dead part way through a sentence because you've lost the thread. Some sentences I've had to read through three or four times because it's so hard to work out the sequence of events. "Walking home, I turned on the TV..." What, you were carrying the TV with you? Or you had a really good remote control? The book is littered with things like this and it ruins my concentration and jerks me out of the flow of the story.
On top of all this, I just can't get behind any book where characters are referred to as a "git" with such regularity. If you want to slag someone off, English is a wonderful language for the job. Why limit yourself?
Just about scraped a 4 for the second half. I've just noticed a reviewer gave up at 10% and I almost did at around 13% as it seemed to be plodding along. I came on here and found it had a lot of good reviews and decided to read on. Good job I did as it def got better.
Andy was a bit of an irritation (what a wimp - total prawn) but I was quite fond of all the characters by the end (this is an updated review) and have now read books 1 through 4.
The books are def an acquired taste - but now that I've gotten into them more I love Hobbes and the old lass and Dregs. Andy, unfortunately, needs writing out. I say unfortunately because his voice is that of the narrator!