Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Smiling Jack by Ken Catran


Title: Smiling Jack

Author: Ken Catran

Published: Auckland : HarperCollins Publishers, 2010

Pages: 271

Snippet:"It was clear that deep secrets had been stirred, and were now swirling around me. There'd been three deaths already, and I had a disturbing sense that there'd be more."

Summary: Robert lives in a small, prosperous rural town where his father is a respected and trusted pillar of the local community.
When his father and uncle are killed in a road accident, Robert's comfortable world is shattered. At the time he barely thinks about the evil grin on the playing-card Jack found at the site of the accident. Until the third death. And the fourth. With Jack's leering, malicious grin there each time. Robert realizes he never knew his father - and as friends and neighbours turn against him, he is forced to look deep into the shadows if he is to get out alive. (Taken from Goodreads)

Review: I was a huge fan of Ken Catran's Talking to Blue trilogy which are big murder mystery books. So when I found out about Smiling Jack I got really excited and tried everything to get my hands on it. In a way I'm glad I did get to read it so fast and that I enjoyed it. But I think after Talking to Blue I had far too high expectations of Smiling Jack and it just wasn't as good.

Smiling Jack is a good read of its own right though. There's no doubt about that. If you're a fan of mysteries then you will enjoy Smiling Jack. By the end I had figured out who the murderer was but I hadn't figured out the motives or some other tiny little details so it was actually a nice surprise in the end.

I really liked Robert as a character.  He was just really down to earth and a great character.  I hated how the townspeople treated him though, I really thought they were far too harsh on poor Robert.  Apart from Robert none of the other characters really stood out to me although Sarge Peggy was pretty cool.

There was a twist at the end that was a little crazy but it wasn't too bad.

To be honest I felt like this book was written more for a younger young adult age group. The writing wasn't too advanced and it was quite simple. It doesn't take very long to read through at all.

Overall, Smiling Jack is a good book by one of my favourite New Zealand authors and I really hope that Ken Catran writes more murder mystery books in the future. If you ever get the chance to read Smiling Jack then I suggest you do because it is pretty awesome.

Source: Library

Kiwi Spotlight



This kiwi indicates that this book was written by a New Zealand author. It is also set in New Zealand.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a good mystery book. And that the author is from New Zealand is also very cool. :) Great review.

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