Friday, August 14, 2015

The Third Sin by Aline Templeton

First Sentence: Julia was wild that night, her long blonde hair streaming as she danced like a maenad among the trees.

In 2012, a group of friends formed the Cyrenaics, and followed the philosophy of sensual hedonism, until one of their members died of an overdose, another disappeared, one moved to Canada, and another is believed to have committed suicide. When the last turns up, found in a submerged car two years later, Marjory and are team must find out what really happened.

We begin with wonderfully evocative descriptions…”There was an edge of frost tonight and above the angled branches of the trees the black bowl of night sky was studded with diamonds. Tonight you could almost hear the music of the spheres…interwoven with the restless muttering of the trees.” Templeton is a very literary author who uses language very well, and can reference both Baudelaire and the same paragraph, along with quotes from Robert Burns, courtesy of DI Fleming’s sergeant Tam MacNee.

The very effective prologue and first chapter lay the groundwork and compel us into the story. Templeton has an interesting style of creating the setting, introducing the characters and building the story without the reader being certain of where the path will lead. Yet one thing of which one is certain is that mystery lies ahead.

Rather than the police acting as a cohesive team, Templeton places us within an oft-found group of people with their own ambitions and jealousies, making getting things done all the harder. The characters include Marjory who tends to be brusque, are not altogether likable and there seems to be a lot of in-fighting, but give them time. Relationships change and cohesion prevails. Even so, it’s nice to see the personal lives that support many of the characters, including the development of one a new relationship.

The story is a little hard to get into as there are so many pieces to the puzzle.
But stay with it, as things do come together and the investigation is interesting to watch.Unfortunately, there is one thread that was, rather frustratingly, dropped.

Templeton does write good dialogue, sometimes with a bit of wry, Scottish humor…”Never trust those one—“grave, tideless-blooded, calm and cool”,’ MacNee said. “And school teachers—I’ve never been overfond of them either, except my old English teacher—I’d never have heard of Rabbie Burns if it wasn’t for him.” ‘I wondered whose fault it was,’ Fleming said…

The Third Sin” is a well-done mystery that is realistic in that mistakes are made, people aren’t all likable, and not all endings are completely satisfactory, yet there is still hope.

THE THIRD SIN (Pol Proc-DI Marjory Fleming-Scotland-Contemp) – G+
Templeton, Aline – 9th in series
Allison and Busby – April 2015

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