In The Beginning, There Was a Murder by P.C. James

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Rating: 1.5 out of 5.

This was my first book by the author and it didn’t work for me. I have recently started liking the thriller suspense stories and this was wasn’t as suspenseful to put me on my toes. The story revolves around a murder of a lady named Marjorie. She has been murdered and inspector Ramsay is investigating the murder. Pauline, Marjorie’s work friend, is the last person she met before being murdered. She is also helping the police to investigate the issue, but after a while, she gets impatient and starts conducting her investigation around a guy that she suspects as the killer.

The way the author describes the plot gives the reader a sense of the subject. It felt like unimportant things are described in detail. The same plot dragged for too long, whereas the characters are not introduced properly. The story starts with an unusually brief meeting between Pauline and Marjorie. It didn’t allow the reader to know about either of the characters enough to root for them. Throughout the book, Pauline is actively engaging in the investigation of her so-called friend. But there is no account of their friendship. She repeatedly mentions Marjorie being only a work friend. She didn’t even react strongly or shockingly when she was informed of the murder. All at once, she jumps into the investigation, getting uneasy about everything related to the murder. When to the reader, there’s no context for any of it. The plot was way too repetitive. There’s the same town she’ll visit to spy on Marjorie’s ex-boyfriend, she’ll get scolded by Ramsay, she’ll apologize for interfering with the investigation. Then she’ll do it the same way for the next few chapters.

It didn’t click for me as much I was expecting it. Mostly because of loose character development. There wasn’t a connection between me as a reader and the characters. After a point, I didn’t care.

Thanks to NetGalley and P.C. James for ARC in exchange for an honest review!

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