“So this is how it ends…”
Michael Duckett is a bit of a no-hoper whose sad life is about to be injected with terrifying levels of excitement. First his not-quite girlfriend goes missing – not the first disappearing act of late – and then increasingly strange things happen to him and best friend, Stephanie Dyer, a lazy lay-about with some odd ideas about the world.
But… when there are thunderstorms causing people to disappear, and ads in the paper for ‘Duckett & Dyer’ that neither set up – who’s to say what’s odd or not?
This book was… infuriating. Because I loved the story, and the wacky sense of humour, but wanted to slap the editor who didn’t tighten up a LOT on the writing style. Argh!!
So I started off feeling quite sniffy about this book. I thought, “poor man’s Dirk Gently fan-fic”. The acknowledgement of the cliche in the dectective being called ‘Rex Calhoun’, hard drinker, etc etc, didn’t stop it being gratingly un-ironic. But as the story unfolds, the weird and funny Douglas Adams-esque-ness is one of the strong points, and what I loved most. I sort of saw where the story was going early on, but it’s just such fun getting there…
Alas, what’s less fun is the language. It all feels like it’s trying too hard, and really could have done with some hefty editing. The characters tell us their feelings a bit too often, their interactions often a bit false. The number of adjectives and persistence in providing detail that wasn’t needed made this one to occasionally skim rather than read word by word. Otherwise it gets a bit much – which is a shame, because this *could* have been really really good, instead of just fun but far from perfect.
That said, it ends with a “Duckett and Dyer will return in…” which I rather do fancy picking up if/when it happens! 🙂
NetGalley eARC: 300 pages / 32 chapters
First published: 2019
Read from 1st-10th June 2019
My rating: 7/10 – bonus points for fun, although it’s far from great