Thursday, August 16, 2012

Book Review: Edge Of Dark Water

Cover image - Edge of Dark Water by Joe R. LansdaleEdge of Dark Water by Joe R. Lansdale

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book surprised me a bit. After reading some of the reviews and the blurb (I won’t copy it here – it’s available elsewhere), I wasn't really sure what to expect or if I'd like it. But I needed something to read and I was curious how this story could work. It only took a few pages before I got the feel of the story and knew it would be interesting.

When I read a book, one of the criteria I use to determine if I like it is whether I can picture the scenes and the characters as vividly in my mind as I could see them in a movie. With Edge of Dark Water, I had no problem. Perhaps because I’ve lived with people not too different from some of the characters and spent time in places at least somewhat similar to those described in the book, I can identify with the story more than some. In any case, it’s easy to like a heroine like Sue Ellen. She’s strong, but approachable, dealing with the situations she’s in as best as she can.

There are times when the speech can be as overdone as a catfish that’s been on the fire for a week, but most of time it works, and adds to the humor in the story. It’s hard to image how a story with a number of rather gruesome scenes can be funny, but it often is, and even at the same time. If a book written in dialect doesn’t work for you, this won’t be enjoyable. As for me, after reading the book, I just started talking a bit more slowly, had an urge for cornbread, and got real uneasy whenever I saw a small-town law enforcement officer nosing about.

Some of the scenes and situations may not be appropriate for young children, but other than that, it works for a large audience.

The story is more of an adventure than a mystery, but it does have elements of both. If you’re looking for a deep investigative mystery however (police procedural), this isn’t your best choice.

I’ve read in some of the other reviews that some feel this isn’t the author’s best work. That tempts me to read another of Lansdale’s books to see if that’s true. If it is, then his other books are very good. I would have given this book 4.5 stars if I could.

View all my reviews

© 2012 K. R. Smith

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