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I live in Bristol UK literary fiction and crime are my books of choice and when not reading I like to run

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Maggie O'Farrell
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Professional Reader 50 Book Reviews 80% Reviews Published

Predictable unimaginative and dull

Never Somewhere Else (DCI Lorimer) - Alex Gray

On the front of the paperback edition to this book it boldly states that "Brings Glasgow to life in the same way Ian Rankin evokes Edinburgh"  This is a disgraceful statement to be pointed at the good name of Rankin and the god amongst crime detectives John Rebus. Reading "Never Someone Else" can only be compared to viewing a rather poor episode of Murder She Wrote starring the ever youthful Angela Lansbury. The crime market is awash with wannabe Rankinists and yet seemingly the author of this story is a well respected and revered past winner of Scottish Association of Writers' Constable and Pitlochry trophies for her crime writing....whatever that is....


DCI Lorimer has been tasked with the unenviable job of unmasking a vicious killer who has mutilated and scalped three women leaving their bodies to be discovered in St Mungo's park. To help him understand the mind of the perpetrator he requests the services of psychologist Sol Brightman. Lorimer is probably the most characterless detective I have ever encountered there is nothing enthusiastic or appealing about him...and surely a DCI should be bold and charismatic in order to instil enthusiasm in the officers under his command. Even his English teacher wife Maggie finds him unpredictable and boring, they rarely communicate and she never knows what time to expect his presence at home...if at all. We learn little about the inner Lorimer, his interests: does he like music? does he have a weakness for alcohol? does he prefer the company of other women? He is uninteresting and dull and it is surely only a short time before his long suffering Maggie departs in tears closely accompanied by a disillusioned reader! For crying out loud, dear author, this is the first in a supposedly exciting crime series and yet nothing is done to expose the mind of the lead player...leaving him as a dull soulless pathetic individual......you get the picture I didn't like him!


 Any reader of crime will know that the villain will always make an appearance in the story before he is unmasked and it is always fun to try to second-guess this individual. It was a relatively simple process to successfully select the killer in such a poorly written novel. Undoubtedly the later books in the series will gradually expose the inner thoughts of" Mr very very dull and boring DCI" but I will certainly not be reading and will be planning my escape with the lovely perplexed Maggie...........