Come Sweet Death by Wolf Haas

come sweet deathI enjoyed the first two Simon Brenner novels, I’m sure of it.  I remember loving the way they were narrated–a third person narrator who referred to himself in the first person, making little cracks about the characters as the plot went along.

They were good books. The narrator was funny.

So what happened this time around.

Come Sweet Death has Simon Brenner still trying to get as far away from detective work as an ex-cop can get.  He’s taken a job as an ambulance driver with a small time company, the number two company in town.  But even here he finds himself confronted with a crime his boss asks him to solve.

It was interesting to see how ambulance services work in Austria.  Apparently, they compete with each other; whoever shows up to the scene first gets to take the patient to the hospital and collect the fee.  The drivers Brenner works with all try to run as many red lights as they can, just to see who can set the record.

They even dare each other…….speaking of dares, have you taken The TBR Triple Dog Dare yet?  Go here to sign up. 😉

Sad to say, but the inside look at the Austrian ambulance industry was what I liked most about Come Sweet Death.

This time around, the narrator whom I found so much fun last time proved to be more irritating than innovative.  Last time I enjoyed the narrator’s comments, came to see him as another character in the novel one I would have liked to take out for a beer.  This time he just went on and on in a way that interrupted without adding anything of value.

I began estimating the ratio between digressive narration and action.  Some pages ran four fifths digression.

Too much for me.

I liked the earlier Brenner novels so much that should another one come my way I’ll probably read it.  I’ll probably even re-read The Bone Man someday.  It could have just been my frame of mind this time around. Maybe I just have to be in the mood for digression.

When it works well, it’s Lawrence Sterne writing Tristram Shandy.


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