#BookReview: The Cove by Gregg Dunnett

Extensive Focus On COVID Mars Otherwise Intriguing Story. The break about 1/3 into this book to focus on mostly new characters for another 1/4 to 1/3 or so (before coming back to at least some of the original characters) is a bit jarring and could potentially be off-putting to some readers, but to me it actually felt like an interesting way to tell this particular story, as well as the larger story of the Detective this series seems to be based around. No, the biggest problem for me – and the reason for the star deduction – is the extensive use of and discussion of COVID in its various forms. Quite simply, even in July 2023, I DO NOT WANT TO READ ABOUT COVID. In ANY form. AT ALL. I’m beginning to become at least slightly more tolerant of passing references to it, but this particular tale used it quite heavily both as a plot device and in showing various actions related to it.

And yet, again, to be crystal clear: Ignoring the narrative break and COVID, this is actually a fairly inventive book about a serial killer and the detective that is trying to stop them. Indeed, this particular killer could well have been made into almost a new Moriarty, for a new Sherlock Holmes in this particular detective. But alas, this tale does hold forth to crime/ police procedural genre conventions, and this is instead more a “freak of the week” tale that is so common in the genre. Still, quite promising indeed, and with a Detective that actually stands out a bit from the crowd in her own way. Very much recommended.

This review of The Cove by Gregg Dunnett was originally written on July 25, 2023.