CSI meets Lord of the Rings.
An awesome premise, a promising treat. I wished hard that it would work.
But I’m afraid, CSI (especially CSI Las Vegas) is smarter still and LOTR is too grand to fit in a gore-fest thriller happening inside a medieval castle.
Forensic science hardly helped Dubric Bryerly, head of security at Castle Faldorrah, from keeping the death toll from the work of a Jack-the-Ripper type running loose in the castle from reaching to 11 in a space of a few weeks.
Young servant girls were being butchered, their insides torn and eaten, despite all the guards, the interrogations, and the ghosts of the murdered victims.
The ghosts don’t help, in fact. They just appear to Dubric, and won’t leave him alone, unless he gets their killer.
A burden, a curse, this ability is but one of the many fantastic side effects of a world that used to be steeped in magic. There were mage wars decades ago, apparently. Dubrick was among those who set out in an epic adventure to rid the world of evil.
They went to war, and won, suffering terrible losses. Survivors had to go on with their lives, however—imagine Frodo or Aragorn called upon to solve a domestic dispute or a diplomatic relations disaster. With Dubrick, it was a serial killer with a taste for girls.
It’s clear to me, though, that his glory days are long gone. He couldn’t seem to keep his wits, or common sense, about him.
The mystery was dark and gripping, but not that difficult to crack. I didn’t have to keep guessing. A man like him used to solving murders shouldn’t have to keep guessing, especially when someone as dim as I am with clues and signs heard alarm bells not that far into the story
Now I wish that Dubrick’s ghosts would finally leave him alone. Though it would remove much of the fantastic ideas that made this book so appealing to me initially, it may be able to make Dubrick less distracted, allowing him to see the obvious—and this series more intelligent.