My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I don’t read many crime thrillers these days but I had read the first three Max Wolfe books back when I was more into that sort of thing and I had enjoyed them, so I thought I’d read the fourth when it came out. The fourth, Die Last, is set in the topical world of people smuggling, a lorry of girls, frozen to death, is found in Chinatown. Max and the team investigate, leading to a brush with an old crime family. I didn’t like this one as much as I liked the first three books, maybe because I’m not as into police procedurals these days but I don’t know, this one seemed to be lacking a bit in excitement and mystery, the overall feeling with this one was just that it was incredibly sad. Also, a couple of things that happened just did not make logical sense and felt just more like things put in to drive the plot, now I know that a story needs plot drivers but when something happens in a story and you think “Really? Would that really happen? If that happened, wouldn’t that trigger a whole chain of events, that in the story didn’t happen?”, so when you’re reading a book and you come to points like that, it takes you out of the story with a rude jolt. And finally, I don’t know, maybe I’ve just read too many crime books and I’ve figured out how they work but I saw the final reveal coming a mile off.
Oh and definitely my final complaint, the elderly villain character keeps using phrases like “donkeys years” and stuff like that and Max keeps going “Oh the elderly East End villain generation using these phrases that are going to die out with them”, excuse me, all bar one of the phrases I regular use and I’m definitely not an elderly East End villain! I thought those bits were either (a) patronising and/or (b) badly put in on the instruction of an editor who maybe thought perhaps the American market might not understand them, again it took me out of the story. Okay yes, although I’ve never lived in the East End my family does come from there, so maybe I am a little more aware of the phrases than some people but I can read crime books set in Scotland (no family link) and hazard a guess at the lingo in those without having to have it spelled out to me!
In case you haven’t guessed, I probably won’t be reading a book 5.
My creative inspiration from this book was the prompt to have a quick trip to Chinatown, where much of the book is set and to take some photos.