lørdag den 18. december 2010

Total Eclipse (part two)

See the first part of this review

I enjoyed Liz Rigbey´s debut very much, and though I´ll give the surprising ending a tiny minus because it could have been more credible, I recommend it strongly.

Apart from the observatory setting, I was fascinated by a broad range of brilliant characters.
First there is Lomax himself , the quiet, almost gentle astronomer: "Lomax watched the girl without seeing her. He was thinking about his galaxy."

Lomax is a divorced father of two children. Despite his new love, gorgeous Julia, he misses his family and envies his successor, Robert, but on the whole Lomax receives a warm welcome in his wife´s perfect life in his role as ´the third child´. Lomax is thorough and systematic when it comes to his job as an astronomer, but his house and car are beyond description. Besides, he is invariably late for his appointments. Most women around him seem to find his flaws endearing, however (perhaps also this reader).
Another intriguing ´character´ is Lomax´ old dog, Deputy Dawg, a lazy creature which chases bitches and sucks up to all the wrong people in the most despicable way. But he is certainly an asset whenever his owner needs to chat up a woman. 

"Deputy knew all about dates. He had a reputation for womanizing in the foothills. A number of puppies in this immediate area, and perhaps throughout most of Northern California, were his and now those puppies were growing up. Deputy had even been seen displaying an unhealthy interest in his own daughters." 
Other interesting allies are Kim, Lomax´ overweight fellow astronomer and Allison, often called “the Nose” because of her extremely keen sense of smelling. Lomax lets her lose on the scene of crime, but first she convinces him of her talents:
“You showered maybe two hours ago. You were at some kind of party last night where people were smoking and drinking. Now, you´re not wearing deodorant. If you were, I could probably tell you which one, or at least who makes it.”
When I had read this recommendation by Maxine, I knew I´d have to buy and read Total Eclipse!

11 kommentarer:

Maxine sagde ...

one of the many things I liked about this original book is the fact that most of the (professional) characters Lomax meets during the course of it are women - the lawyer, etc. This was quite unusual in those days when the book was first written (though less so in California than the UK of course) and I was pleasantly struck by it. I agree the ending was weak but I do think that this novel is one of the best examples of crime fiction I've read. (Virtually all crime fiction is let down by the needs of plot resolution, in my opinion!)

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams sagde ...

I'm sold on it! :) Great review, Dorte.

Clarissa Draper sagde ...

I love her writing voice and dialogue, she's very straight forward and her characters are all so unique.

Margot Kinberg sagde ...

Dorte - Thanks for the rest of this review. This is most definitely going on my TBR list. I'm especially intrigued by your description of Lomax...

Dorte H sagde ...

Maxine: I think that was less extraordinary in Denmark when I was young so I don´t notice to the same extent as you do, but her female characters are indeed strong.

Elizabeth: thank you. I think all readers who care about characters will appreciate this one.

Clarissa: fortunately I have her next book on my TBR!

Margot: I am sure most writers can learn a lot from her memorable characters.

Kelly sagde ...

I enjoyed your "double" review! Loved the bit about the dog, too.

Dorte H sagde ...

Kelly: YOU wouldn´t be able to resist that dog. He had more personality than many people I have met in fiction :D

pattinase (abbott) sagde ...

Sounds stellar.

Dorte H sagde ...

Patti: you could say that :D

Beth F sagde ...

Since I'm still tired from getting up in the middle of the night to see the lunar eclipse, I'm lucky to be reading your two-part review. LOL.

Anyway, it does sound like a winner. Adding it to my ever-growing list.

Dorte H sagde ...

Beth: she is a fantastic writer. I have her second ready on my TBR, but as I believe in a varied reading diet, it will have to wait.