Review by CJ Verburg: Robert Goddard’s The Fine Art of Invisible Detection

The Fine Art of Invisible DetectionThe Fine Art of Invisible Detection by Robert Goddard
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

An enjoyable mystery, in large part because it follows an unusual main character (Wada, a somewhat reluctant middle-aged female detective) from her native Japan to London to New York to Iceland. Wada has no Hollywood assets, just curiosity, intelligence, and common sense. Her story crosses paths and eventually collides with that of Nick, an Englishman who’s searching for his unknown father.

The plot was satisfyingly twisty without becoming so convoluted as to lose me in the welter of international characters. What bogs it down a bit is the writing, which (like Wada) is practical and workmanlike enough to get the job done but lacks flair or zip. It’s thick with passive structures such as “There was” (as in “There was a street leading to a lane where there were several buildings”), slowing the action and blunting the suspense.

The book ends with what’s obviously Scene 1 of a sequel. I had fun reading this one, but not enough to embark on another.

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