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I think one thing that is cast in iron is that if Peter May releases an audio book with Peter Forbes narrating I am not going to regret buying it. This one takes another step to proving the rule. I would say it is actually one of the best of this particular series. McLeod's increasingly complex personal life develops apace as does the thriller of a story that his investigations bring him into. He's a great character to follow with his lack of tact and impatience with rules and procedures.
We get all the usual quality of Peter May's writing including finely described European locations and deep, multi-faceted characters plus twists and turns along the way. The depth of research that goes into this writing is self-evident. Peter Forbes as I have said previously is incredibly well suited as a narrator to May's writing and characters. In a series that in my view was never quite as consistently excellent as say the Lewis trilogy this book is a highlight.
27 of 32 people found this review helpful
I hadn’t realised that this was the final part of a series in which forensic scientist Enszo Macleod investigates a sequence six cold cases. While this book is mainly concerned with finding the perpetrator of the sixth and final murder victim previous cases are alluded to and I kept feeling that I was missing the significance of several back-stories. The book has many characters who have evidently figured in earlier books but meeting so many of them for the first time made the narrative confusing at times.
Actual detection and forensic science play only a small part in the narrative which is more about the life and loves of Enzo: a surprising number of the females had had a relationship with him. There’s too much unnecessary description of what even minor characters look like and what they are wearing; and every female character gets an attractiveness assessment.
It’s a complicated and long-winded story that finally reveals who killed the final victim and why. I don’t think the narrative built up the evidence satisfactorily and the denouement is perfunctory. I might have enjoyed the journey to get there more if I had read the previous five books. I don't think I’ll bother as some of the conclusions of earlier stories are referred to in this final book.
Having read a number of the author’s books I think that the Lewis trilogy is by far the best as the books have gripping stories combined with a powerful evocation of the atmosphere of the Outer Herbrides, whereas, Cast Iron, set in France didn’t create any sense of the atmosphere of the country.
Peter Forbes is an excellent narrator whose gift for creating different voices helped keep track of the different characters.
13 of 20 people found this review helpful