Thirty years ago mathematician Grant McAllister devised a set of rules which defined all murder mystery stories, eg there must be at least one victim. He then also self-published a book of short stories called the White Murders which explored the way in which these rules interact eg if there are only two suspects. Now Julia Hart, a book editor, has come to visit Grant and persuade him to republish the book. Like Scheherazade, Julia reads each short story aloud to Grant (and the reader) but then points out inconsistencies with each story, she also draws out references to an unsolved murder of a woman thirty years ago which the newspapers referred to as The White Murder. Did Grant have something to do with that murder? I can only liken this to the film The Usual Suspects because of the way you think you are reading one thing, then Julia exposes the issues with the short story which makes you think something else. And then there are further twists and turns which throw everything into disarray. I think it is fair to say that this book contains pretty much every possible murder plot variation and keeps the reader confounded right up to the end. I started off reading this and not being very interested but by the end I was on the edge of my seat waiting for the next rollercoaster twist and turn. Dark, twisty, intellectual, challenging and deeply satisfying. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
2 people found this review helpful
Liked the premise, but the writing didn't hold my attention. After a while I did enjoy trying to spot the inconsistencies, at least.