By the third outing for Alex Morrow, things have settled down a little bit. Alex's home life has gotten better, her work life has gotten better and the book itself seems to have found its groove. What I think is really interesting about the Morrow novels is that they are mysteries, but they're subtle mysteries. You get caught up in the narrative and you forget that there are small clues and hints about the eventual outcome. When DS Morrow finally puts all the pieces together, a lot of details come to light quickly and at least for me, I'm sitting there wondering what clues I missed because I know they were there, but that they were subtle.
I wasn't sure about reading #2 after #1, but I wanted to read #3 after I read #2. I'm now looking forward to #4 but I did like #2 better than #3. I'll also check out other works by Mina.
#3 starts with a brutal murder of a customer at a post office during a robbery. It seems like a chance happening except that the customer is called up from the floor and made to help the robber before being killed on the way out the door. He seems to recognize the masked robber and quickly pushes his grandson to another customer cowering on the floor. So the story has to unravel who the other man in line really is. The book also devotes a large portion to a separate political storyline. You know they'll come together and when they do, you wonder if that story could have been told in a simpler, shorter way. Perhaps, but it wouldn't have necessarily been true to the style of these books.
In the end, this book was probably less about the crime and more about advancing the the main characters, a foundational set-up for a bigger showdown to come later in the series and that's fine. While there's one thing that feels like a violation of Pixar rule 19 (Coincidences to get characters into trouble are great; coincidences to get them out of it are cheating.), it's overall a good book. I'm really glad to see the character development and excited/nervous for what's to come in the series.
Still Midnight (My Review/Amazon.com)
The End of the Wasp Season (My Review/Amazon.com)
Gods and Beasts (Amazon.com)