Inhuman Remains is this month’s discussion book for my face to face book group.
Primavera Blackstone goes into hiding when she survives the plane crash that she believes was initiated by her ex-husband, Oz Blackstone. However when he dies a few months later she feels it’s safe to come out of hiding, retrieve her young son Tom and head off to Spain to live a life of luxury. Two years after this her Aunt Adrienne shows up and asks Prim to help locate her son Frank who, since he finished his prison sentence for fraud, has been working at a resort in Switzerland but has now disappeared. Prim, having previously helped her ex-husband who was apparently a private investigator as well as being a world-famous actor, agrees to become involved. Mayhem ensues.
Surely Primavera Blackstone is the kind of woman who only exists in the fantasy lives of men? There is no substance to her at all as she flits from being the world’s cleverest woman to the world’s most perfect mother to the world’s best lover while maintaining a nice line in pithy one-liners. Everyone she knows loves her, everyone she knows will risk their own death to save or protect her and everyone she knows is awestruck by her. I, on the other hand, found her tiresome and entirely unbelievable. None of the other characters is memorable enough a day and a half after finishing the book for me to make any kind of comment about them at all.
The plot started at implausible and got sillier from there. There is so much double crossing and triple crossing and parish priests saving the world kind of nonsense that I’d really lost interest well before the last ludicrous and unsatisfying twist. No one seemed to be telling the truth at any point in the story so there really wasn’t any suspense because I had nothing invested in the characters or the story.
I’m quite sure the book is not meant to be taken terribly seriously and I’m quite content with that concept but in such cases I have to find something to like and here I couldn’t. I can’t even sensibly explain why Elizabeth Peters’ Amelia Peabody (an equally implausible heroine of adventure tales) makes me smile while Primavera Blackstone just made me cranky but that’s the way it is. Once again though I am out of step with the mainstream because Jardine has published 30 novels including nine previous books featuring Oz Blackstone and they seem to be very popular but I’m afraid I didn’t see much here that would have me hunting down any of his other titles.
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My rating 2/5
Publisher Headline ; ISBN 9780755340224; Length 310 pages
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Inhuman Remains has been reviewed at Mysteries in Paradise