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The Red Room by Nicci French

Review by Caleyna

This isn't a fantasy book, but I'm compelled to review it anyway. It's so bad that I can't get all it's faults out of my head, so I figure if I do a review I'll have said my peace and be able to forget about it *lol*. Anyway, on to the review:

The Red Room by Nicci French is supposed to be a crime thriller. I will admit that it had several crimes, but I couldn't find a single thrill.

The premise of the book is not a particulary new one. Murders are taking place and a psychologist is called in to help the police. It didn't really work in this book, though, because the psychologist (and first person narrator) had been a victim of the main suspect in a previous crime and no one in the police department liked her or cooperated with her or believed her. It just didn't make sense.

The main flaw of this book seems to be that the author did zero research about criminal investigations. He villianized the police department, making them seem totally incompotent. I'm not trained in any sort of criminal investigation, but I figured out the clues the author planted for the main character long before the main character did. They were incredibly obvious. Any hackneyed cop should have been able to figure them out and make connections. Instead, our heroine was supposed to be brilliant for making such connections. I couldn't find her to be brilliant at all. She seemed like a total hack who didn't have a clue what she was doing.

I guess one of the main problems was that I didn't like the narrator at all. She just seemed really whiney to me. I was also irritated b/c she was supposed to be a therapist at two clinics and she was helping the police, but she rarely went to work. She spent all day soaking in her tub and complaining about not having food in the fridge. We saw very little of the actual crime investigation and a whole lot Kit feeling sorry for herself.

There were also several other characters in the book that were incredibaly un-likable. Most of them didn't even play a real role in the book. One woman just drops in out of the blue and moves in with Kit. I never did figure out what purpose she served in the story line. It just made no sense.

Overall, this book had overdone writing, annoying characters, bad research and a distinct lack of tension or suspense. I couldn't recommend it to anyone. It deserves 1 out of 5 amulets.


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