Jungle
The End Of The Wasp Season

The End Of The Wasp Season

Author: 
Publisher(s): 
Release Date: 
Monday, September 26, 2011
Grade:
C+
# of Pages: 
400
Factoid:

Field of Blood, a novel by Denise Mina, has been turned into a BBC mini-series.

The End of the Wasp Season marks Denise Mina’s return to her DI Alex Morrow character, the first being Still Midnight. In this tale a woman is brutally murdered in her home, which has a quick reveal as to who done it. Morrow, pregnant with twins at the time, quickly discovers that there is more to the case then just some poor woman being murdered and it opens the door to a much larger story. Meanwhile a millionaire banker commits suicide leaving behind a family he has tormented through the years, broken and confused.

As I began reading I found it pretty tiring. It seemed like Mina dumps a boatload of characters, some meaningless and some not, into the first 100 pages of the book, and really does nothing else. There’s something to be said about the old rule that if you don’t capture your audience in the first few pages of your novel your probably not going to capture them at all. Seeing as how this was an assignment for me I had no choice but I thought to myself, if this had been a book I had picked up at the library or found at my local used bookstore, I probably would not have finished it. It’s simply a tiresome trek mulling through those first 100 pages. There is no real character development, no massive story progression that leaves you wanting. It just doesn’t make sense as this author has birthed several other novels, a few award winning ones at that.

Once you break that 100 page trek you will be handsomely rewarded with a deep insight into the character of DI Alex Morrow and her world. I was pleasantly surprised at just how much her world expands from her work life which features a massive amount of interesting characters who simply bloom to life, to the life of our stories criminals and the victims on the wayside. This is what I wanted to read in the beginning of the book. The criminals responsible for said crime, their lives pour out in intricate detail from family life to social life to everything under the sun. Morrow as well, you get a real focus on why she is driven to do what she does, the methods in which she analyzes crime, and the politics of office life. From here the story really runs smoothly and the feeling that I couldn’t put the book down motivated by curiosity really made me happy. I found it to be a good read.

As the story draws to a close those first 100 pages really began to haunt me. I thought to myself, if this author couldn’t pull me in within the first 10 pages how did I expect that she would be able to give me a satisfactory ending to a 400 page book in which 100 pages seem wasted on trivial aesthetic. Sadly I was unhappy with how the book came to a close. To me it seemed too tidy, too rushed, and the analogies scattered in the back end of the book peppered with poetic metaphor seemed to only lessen the blow that should have been the books big mind blowing moment. It seemed like Mina was having some difficulty making the end of the book both spectacular and sensible. As I read on I couldn’t help getting the feeling that I’d been here before, that the idea’s in which the book finds in its employ for its finale seemed to be scrapped together from other sources. Jot this down to having watched and read countless films and television shows and books but I was simply unimpressed. I understood it, but I didn’t much care for it. In the end I thought it had a good 230 pages worth of realized and fantastic character study but not a complete realization in story. As always final judgment is yours.
 

AJ Garcia
Review by AJ Garcia
Follow him @ Twitter
Friend him @ Facebook