Friday, December 26, 2014

White Corridor, by Christopher Fowler

White Corridor
By Christopher Fowler

(No overt spoilers ahead, but perhaps a few mild ones. There’s your disclaimer.)

This site has been on an unofficial hiatus of sorts for the simple reason that I haven’t been reading as much mystery fiction lately. But not so long ago a light bulb went off above my head and I realized that there were a number of Christopher Fowler’s Bryant & May books that I haven’t read yet. So I set out to clear up that problem forthwith, jumping back into the fray with White Corridor.

A lot of ink has been spilled in praise of the exploits of Bryant & May. They’re an aging pair of British detectives – one quirky and one normal – who take on a variety of offbeat crimes as part of their work with London’s Peculiar Crimes Unit. I’ve spilled a fair amount of this ink myself, but I wasn’t quite as enthusiastic about White Corridor as the others I’ve read.

Which is not to say that I didn’t like it because I did. I’ll just say that of the two primary threads that move the plot along I found that one didn’t quite work for me. It was the thread that felt more like it belonged in a “thriller” than a “mystery” and the device of a killer on the loose stalking people wasn’t really my cup of tea. Not to mention that the resolution to that plot line seemed to come from way out of left field. But it did make for some decent suspense and the bit with Bryant & May being stranded on the road in a blizzard was interesting.

The other thread of the plot – which involves a somewhat prominent member of the supporting cast – was more to my liking. Though this thread suffered somewhat because much of the legwork was carried out by the other members of the PCU, rather than our heroes. This due, of course, to the fact that our heroes were stuck in a snowstorm and could only offer limited assistance.

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