I'd like to thank author Geoffrey R. Tigg, for providing me with a review copy of this novel in return for an honest review.
Although I'd not exactly been enamoured by another book by the same author, I decided to reserve judgement and read The Painting. This book is one of a series featuring Detectives Kelly O'Brien and Simon Chung and the intricate homicide cases they investigate.
The case featured here is complex, involving multiple murders and criminals aplenty. I found the plot interesting, but it didn't excite me to the point of reading until the early hours, determined to finish 'one more chapter'. I like Kelly and think she's the best character in the book, but she didn't hold my interest throughout.
I found myself wading through a lot of irrelevant detail, such as what whoever had for lunch, and there was such an abundance of brand names that I was left wondering if the book is somehow sponsored and the author receiving cash for product placement! In my defence of this theory, I'm British and we tend not to splash brand names all over the place, so a slight difference in culture could well be to blame for my well-intended joke!
At times the conversation felt stilted. I always try to read a couple of verbal exchanges aloud to see if I think they flow well; this didn't always do so. There were a lot of wrong words used, such as bazaar in place of bizarre, breaks instead of brakes, and for as. Perhaps these words were initially spelt wrong and a spellchecker used? A decent proofreader and/or copy editor could've corrected these errors, making the book a better read. I found a distinct lack of build up to the twists in the plot. A little more anticipation and suspense would've made all the difference and reduced the predictability. The very end of the book appears very rushed, almost as if a word limit was reached too soon; it was a bit of a let down.
I did enjoy some of the things about this book, but I wouldn't read it again or recommend it to anyone with a penchant for suspenseful crime. It's OK. 3/5