No Evil (DCI Jack Callum #1)

by Maynard Sims

CI Jack Callum investigates the murder of 14 year old Frances Anderton found with her eyes and lips sewn shut and her ears filled with candle wax. A letter is left showing a drawing of the three monkeys (hear no evil, see no evil, say no evil), and the murders continue, all victims are young and innocent but no link between them can otherwise be found. In short, the police hasn’t got a single lead.
It’s 1958, methods of investigation as well as people’s views and conduct are quite old fashioned, and Jack is an old fashion guy, but with a liberal mind.

The scenery and imagery are appealing, it’s an old fashioned town, back in old fashioned England. It’s fun. The characters are believable and likable, even though they sometimes engage in very flat conversations. The Plot of the thriller is a bit lacking: sure you want to find out who has done it and once the perpetrator is discovered you are invested in it as much as Jack (i.e. I really wanted to see the bastard pay). However, in general the plot is also kind of “flat”, the motive is far-fetched and even the way the police gained a lead that brings them closed to the conclusion, is by a mere chance, you would expect something a bit smarter there as well.
It’s not that I didn’t enjoy the book, I did, it’s a light read in general and is well written, it’s just that the plot and the conclusion did not convince me, and then, at the end of the day, I rather do something else with my time than reading about dead mutilated teenagers… I found the link to Cullum’s family (no spoilers don’t worry) a ploy to get us further emotionally invested in the fa-fetched script, and wasn’t impressed.
In conclusion – it’s an okay read. Literary wise very accomplished, story-wise, could have been much better in my humble opinion.