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The Edinburgh Dead by Brian Ruckley review

The Edinburgh Dead by Brian Ruckley

Egalley thanks to Hachette Books Group


Synopsis from Goodreads
The year is 1827. For Adam Quire, an officer of the recently formed City Police, Edinburgh is a terrifying place. It is a city populated by mad alchemists and a criminal underclass prepared to treat with the darkest of powers. But nothing can prepare him for the trail of undead hounds, emptied graves, brutal murders and mob violence that will take him into the darkest corners of the underworld and to the highest reaches of elegant Edinburgh society.
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* * *
The thing is, I'd been chasing this book for awhile until I got to read it, and I really really wanted to like it...


But I didn't.


Perhaps the problem is that I've expected some sort of steampunkish version of Peter Grant from Ben Aaronovitch's books with plenty of action, magic, gadgets and a little bit of humour.


Instead there was historical fiction, dark, heavily written and quite slow. 


The merits of this book are well researched historical period and Edinburgh itself. There is a lot you can find out about the university, the research of human body and grave robbers activity.


On the other hand the execution of the story is uninspiring. 


Adam is a policeman who starts investigating a murder. The man appeared to be mauled by dogs. Adam finds out who was his previous employer and comes to visit John Ruthven, a scientist and a rich untouchable aristocrat who behaves arrogantly and suspiciously enough to raise Adam's hackles.


Adam delves deeper in Ruthven's activity and finds out some dark magic and evil experiments, gets threatened and almost killed, loses his job and becomes a man bent on revenge and delivering justice...


It's a good story, but somewhat dry. I never got lost in a book and its characters. Adam didn't feel alive enough, Ruthven started developing some personality only just before he died, Cat didn't exist beyond her meek interaction with the sergeant. It's just I don't know these people! Even the real villain didn't have much of a story.


It was exasperating, and I don't think I will read more of Brian Ruckley in the future. His writing style is just not for me.


* * *
Брайан Ракли, за книгой которого я так долго охотилась, моих ожиданий совсем не оправдал. 


Во-первых, книга оказалась не стимпанком и не паранормальной мистикой, и тяжёлым историческим романом. Мне представлялся некий Питер Грант 19 века с элементами стимпанка, кучей экшна и юмором.


А получила я мрачного шотландца, страдающего от воспоминаний своих солдатстких дней, пытающегося исполнять свою работу полицейского. Роман прямолинейный, мистики мало, действие развивается медленно, в повествование не погружаешься.


Ярких описаний не вышло, Адам суховат и тяжёловесен, Джон Рутвен, некий доктор Франкенштейн своего поколения, достаточно картонный злодей, который более-менее начинает раскрываться только перед своей смертью. Настоящий злодей - Блегг, остаётся в тени всю книгу и практически не раскрывает о себе никаких деталей. Кэт, проститутка, к которой Адам не равнодушен, существует только для того, чтобы заполнить паузы в повествовании - у неё совершенно нет характера... И таких примеров полно.


Не поймите меня неправильно, идея хороша. Но её исполнение оставляет желать лучшего. Единственное, что я из этой книги вынесла - Брайан Ракли не для меня.


5/10

2 comments:

Birgit said...

Admittedly the part about being a dry read makes me wonder if I should give the book a try after all. Yet I do like the premise, so ... probably yes :-) !

kara-karina@Nocturnal Book Reviews said...

I hope you like it Birgit! t took me so long to read it I was just relieved I managed to finish it at all. You still can request it on Netgalley.

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