DEEPER THAN THE DEAD, BY TAMI HOAG (Book 1 of Oak Knoll)
I had already read this book, but that was before I came to Tumblr. I thought it would be interesting to see what I would think of it after my full transformation into a raging feminist.
Synopsis: A string of gruesome murders in a idyllic small town brings Vince Leone, one of the first FBI criminal profilers, into a serial killer investigation involving children and an especial kindergarten teacher.
Overall enjoyment: It was still good. A bit disappointing, but then, I expected that.
Plot: I kinda thought she made it too obvious who the killer was. Even the first time I read it, I already knew by the second chapter. Still, it was well-constructed, and I kept on reading. Things escalate very quickly by the end of the book, and then they become too far-fetched, but I guess you could chalk that up to poetic license.
Characters: For the most part, they are well-made. But, again, by the end of the book they start acting a bit weird... True, there are lots of stuff happening all at the same time, but they seem like different characters altogether, so they're not completely consistent.
World/setting: A bit like Desperate Housewives, where you have this super peaceful setting and all of a sudden horrible things start happening one after the other. But, at least in the beginning of the book, it's a nice, if idealized, portrait of an American small town.
Writing style: Mostly very straight and easy to read. The only thing that bothered me a bit was everyone making predictions of the future. The book is set in 1985, where forensic science was still in the cradle, and everyone keeps saying things like "one day we'll have a national database of DNA, but today there's nothing we can do" and "one day fingerprint analysis will be fully digital, but today it's still done manually" and it was unnecessary and a bit ridiculous after a while. Not to mention that, for the most part, those people had no way of knowing that those things would happen.
Representation: Almost nonexistent. There is a gay guy and a Hispanic one. Other than that, nothing.
Political correctness: I was very bothered by how much of the blame for the crimes was laid on the women throughout the book. You have the detectives talking about one of the suspect's wife and saying
"she would drive me to kill people" because she was very controlling and narcissistic (the fact that this suspect turned out to be the killer only makes this affirmation worse). And you also have women (and even a little girl) being brutalized, but provoking the men before that, so that the subtle message is that if they hadn't called it upon themselves, that wouldn't have happened. And in the romantic background story the guy is so controlling, overbearing and full of macho bullshit I felt like taking a swing at him.
I'm fully aware that I'm being too rigorous in this review. That was kind of the idea when I picked it up to re-read it, especially among all the other books I'm reading for this challenge. This is actually a quite entertaining book, and much better than many others I've read before.
Up next: Apolonia, by Jamie McGuire