The End of the Pier by Martha Grimes
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
I've never been able to "get" Martha Grimes. It's not that I outright don't like her books; it's more that I just don't know what she's trying to get her characters to convey. The End Of The Pier is the perfect example of this. I'm not sure if the characters in this book are deep (as in profound thinkers), crazy, or maybe just flat out stupid.
There's a serial killer loose in Elton County, a small town-America rustic area, only no one seems to have put together the clues indicating that the murders of women which have taken place over time are connected. What law enforcement exists in the area is lazy at best and clueless at worst. Except for the local sheriff, Sam DeGheyn, who believes the wrong man has been tried and convicted for the murders. However, Sam's got a screwed up personal life, so his full attention is not quite concentrated on the murders. Besides that, Sam isn't getting a lot of cooperation from his fellow county law enforcement officers.
One of the main characters through whom this story is revealed is Maud Chadwick. Maud's thought process is all over the place which, to me, made her annoying and ornery rather than helpful in figuring out what is going on around her. I wanted to like Maud, I really did, but just about the time I thought she'd offered some genuine insight, she'd go and spoil it all by uttering stream of consciousness drivel.
As for the mystery of who is killing the women of Elton County: by the time I reached the end of the book I really couldn't have cared less. I was just glad I'd reached the last page so I could pack this book up to donate to Good Will.
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