Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Book 35 of 2013: The Silent World of Nicholas Quinn by Colin Dexter

The Silent World Of Nicholas Quinn is the third book in the Inspector Morse series by Colin Dexter and follows Morse and Lewis as they attempt to solve the murder of a deaf man who worked for an examination syndicate. Along the way they uncover some underhand dealings within the organisation as well as an affair.

I remembered this one from the TV series. I’ve not watched every episode of the TV series but my family did have them all on DVD and we started watching them all from the beginning twice. Mr Click and I have decided that we will watch them all ourselves at some point in the future but probably not until we’ve finished the books because we don’t want to spoil any of the mysteries.

I did find it a little bit tricky to keep track of who everyone was. There’s the various staff members of the syndicate, the girls in the typing pool plus Quinn’s neighbours. The problem I often find with the Colin Dexter books is that you can’t actually solve the crimes by yourself because not everything is laid out clearly for you (that and Morse makes some massive leaps of deduction which aren’t necessarily that intuitive). This problem was compounded by not being able to remember who had what role within the organisation.

I liked the way that the book was structured; the chapters were divided into sections which were headed ‘How’, ‘Why’, etc. I thought that was quite clever and a nice neat way of managing a murder mystery book. But when I was reading it I didn’t feel that the headings necessarily tied up with what was actually happening or being found out by the detectives. I forget which section it was but in one the only link I could find to the title of the section was that at the end Morse was asking that exact question himself, having spent the rest of the time answering the question asked in the heading of the previous section.

Despite having seen the adaptation of this book twice before I couldn’t actually remember the ending (just that there was bound to be more than one body, because that’s exactly what happens when Morse gets involved; the bodies always start piling up). As I said above, I was disappointed that I couldn’t solve the crime myself but I enjoyed it as a quick and easy read. Because you know that you don’t really stand a chance of figuring it you can just sit back and enjoy the story through to the end.

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