The Whaleboat House (Amagansett), by Mark Mills
The Whaleboat House, by Mark Mills, is a murder mystery. It takes a meandering approach to the genre. Character development relatively irrelevant to the plot takes up much of the almost 400-page novel. As far as the murder mystery part of the plot, I thought it was thin, at best. Though much time is spent on character development, it is mostly the “good guys” who are being developed. The lack of development of the “bad guys” made it difficult to believe the motivations behind the killing. Also, the clues were revealed in a disconcerting jumble. In fact, the killer is revealed in a sort of off hand manner—very anti-climatic.
Two minor complaints:
Fishing jargon. I know Mills was trying to give life to the setting, but I felt that the fishing jargon was not explained well enough for a layperson to understand. For example, there is a scene where the characters are harpooning swordfish and something important happens with the keg. Now, to me, keg means a barrel with alcohol in it. The importance of the scene, though rested on the reader’s understanding of just what a keg is in this context.
Sex. I’m not really a book prude. I can handle a sex scene or two, but these sex scenes were not only totally irrelevant to the plot but cheesy and explicit in a manner reminiscent of Danielle Steel.
Overall, I thought this was a fairly mediocre, meandering read.
The Whaleboat House, by Mark Mills [rating:2]