You’ve been warned.
Fortunately I didn’t read the inside flap of this book until I was halfway through it. The first of a murder-mystery trilogy? Grrr. I am so tired of trilogies and duologies and sequels right now, mostly because they mean I have to wait! Grrr.
And then when the new book comes out, I have to decide if I’m going to reread the previous one or just trust that the author can whip together something to remind me of all the important stuff without weighing the first five chapters down with explanations. Not many people can do that well, you know. And then there are the cliffhangers, which sometimes don’t age so well during the wait. Maybe a character escapes or disappears towards the end – are they dead or just plotting an evil return? Who knows? Do I care?
Is this delicious and wonderful to someone? I sometimes end up feeling like I’m just being played, and not in a brilliantly twisty, sneaky way. It doesn’t really make me inclined to gush about a book and wait enthusiastically for the next one. Honestly, this is the whole reason I quit reading Rick Riordan’s myth-inspired books. The afternoon my son binge-read one of his newer books and came out annoyed about the obvious ploys to set up the next book – well, that was the day I quit reading them. I like those books; really, I do. But the author lost me as a reader when I understood I wasn’t the only one who felt completely and obviously manipulated.
But this is not about Rick Riordan, is it?
Truly Devious will apparently be a trilogy, and if it were all out now, I’d just charge ahead and read the next two. Why? Despite everything I said up above, it sort of won me over. It’s a wonderful homage to classic mysteries – the isolated location, the quirky characters with lies and secrets strewn behind them, an imperfect but brilliant detective, a creepy rhyme or two, and oh, so many twists and turns. I read the whole thing in less than a day, and I loved it, right up until the point when someone conveniently disappears through a secret passageway, and one final big surprise is cast at our feet. But will either of those things bother me? I guess I’ll have to read the next one to find out, won’t I?
Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson