Hope you’re all continuing to keep safe and sane. I’ve indulged in some other interests outside of reading the last couple of weeks which has been nice. I’m still here though and still reading when I can.
Thank you to @pavesi_alex and @PenguinUKBooks for this advanced copy in return for an honest review. Eight Detectives is due to be published on 20th August, 2020 and you can pre-order/purchase a copy here.
Grant McAllister is a mathematician with a passion for murder mystery stories. He combined the two to create the mathematical rules for every murder mystery. All of them require a victim, a suspect and a detective; how many of each and the roles in which they play in each story can be configured, but they are the basic requirements. Grant chose to prove his theory by writing seven short stories following his own guidelines.
In his old age, Grant has retired to a remote island but is contacted by editor Julia Hart who would like to work with him to publish his short stories. To do so, Julia visits Grant so that they can go through his old work, his theory and understand both. This unearths more questions than answers and Julia finds herself as the detective in a real life mystery.
General Thoughts 🤔
I was hooked on this book as soon as I started. I had no idea what was going on and why each chapter seemed to be so random. I can’t remember at which point I realised what was going on, but the penny dropped eventually. The fact that the book forced me to really pay attention and concentrate made me love it.
Given Julia’s quizzing of Grant after reading each story, I knew that some kind of secret was going to be revealed at some point, otherwise it’s just a book of short stories right? What I didn’t foresee was what that secret was going to be and it was the secret that just kept on giving.
This is an interesting section for me to write about for this book as there are only really two “real” characters; Julia and Grant. As a reader we don’t get to know an awful lot about them but I didn’t find that necessary.
I didn’t know what to make of Grant from the start. I couldn’t work out if he was genuinely just old or purposely blasé about his personal life.
I honestly didn’t think much of Julia until towards the end of the book. She always seemed like she was a character included to help the telling of Grant’s story. I didn’t expect her to be quite so wrapped up in her own investigation as she was.
Writing Style ✍🏽
I don’t think I’ve ever read a book structured in this way before and that was partly what made me love it as much as I did. I was immersed into each short story like I was reading a full murder mystery book. Having the opportunity to then analyse and breakdown each short story with Julia and Grant was awesome.
The inconsistencies in the murder mystery stories were such a fantastic part of this book. After the first set of inconsistencies were mentioned, I was doing my own detective work trying to spot them in the subsequent stories. I found myself re-reading the short stories before reading the Grant and Julia chapters to see if I could spot them myself.
Conclusion & Scoring 🎖
This is unlike any other mystery book I’ve ever read and I think it’s such a special piece of work from Alex Pavesi. It was everything that I love about murder mystery stories amplified by 10. It was more than just a classic whodunnit, it was seven of them with one big overarching mystery to trump them all. If you haven’t already read this, READ IT.