Ragged Alice – Gareth L. Powell

Releases: 4.23.19.

Synopsis: Orphaned at an early age, DCI Holly Craig grew up in the small Welsh coastal town of Pontyrhudd. As soon as she was old enough, she ran away to London and joined the police. Now, fifteen years later, she’s back in her old hometown to investigate what seems at first to be a simple hit-and-run, but which soon escalates into something far deadlier and unexpectedly personal—something that will take all of her peculiar talents to solve.

“That was the thing about death, though. It affected different people in different ways, and you could never really predict how anyone was going to react to a mangled corpse. In her time, she’d seen strapping six-foot coppers go weak at the knees while attending their first RTA. Others fell apart afterwards, when all the mess had been cleaned away and their minds started chewing over the horrors they’d seen. You’d have to be made of stone not to let that part of the job get to you. Sometimes flippancy and an obstinate lack of imagination formed a shield against such trauma. The less you allowed yourself to care, the fewer times you got hurt.”

This is the first of a few mini reviews I’m planning on doing. Which might be difficult for me, because you may have noticed that I do indulge in the vomiting of the words. Just a wee bit. It’s fine. I’VE GOT THIS!!

Ragged Alice is about Holly Craig, a detective who returns to her small hometown to investigate a hit & run, which ends up being the first of many murders. Holly has a gift/curse.. she has the ability to see into peoples souls. Literally.

Gareth L. Powell is an author that I’ve heard about over the years, mostly associated with science fiction. I’m wicked excited to read Embers of War, because that sounds like it will be right up my alley!

Because there are just.. SO MANY BOOKS out there in the world & disposable time is limited for all of us, I’ve been enjoying reading standalones (& especially novellas) by already established authors to get a taste of what their writing is like. It helps to somewhat narrow down the writers that have been on my TBR list for ages, whether or not I want to prioritize them more, etc.

Except this strategy did nothing to help in regards to Ragged Alice.

Don’t get me wrong, I liked this. I did.

I just didn’t love it. It didn’t blow me away. I didn’t feel much once I finished. I’m someone that needs to FEEL something (ANYTHING) while reading. There was a slight disconnect for me in this story. It would have had more of an impact on me if we had spent more time getting to know & care about the characters, especially Holly. It just seemed like these were people populating the story, without much development or purpose.

Ragged Alice had a Miriam Black/Bill Hodges vibe, but without the interesting characters. This wasn’t a bad book, but it didn’t resonate much with me. There were also some plot holes that I had issues with. However, it’s not all negative! It was a quick read with an interesting mystery & some twisty supernatural elements.

YMMV.

-Holly

(Thanks to Tor.com Publishing for sending me a copy!)

**The quotes above were taken from an ARC & are subject to change upon publication**

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