Monday, March 22, 2010

32 Caliber: a Free Book review

32 Caliber (available here as a free audiobook) by Donald McGibney is difficult to describe adequately. I admit I didn't care for the opening, which shows us how low and icky the villains are. However, after the fatal "accident," there are a lot of twists and turns that somehow aren't annoying. (I generally dislike sequences such as "X did it!" "No, Y!" "No, Z!" "I still say it was X!") The solution is rather ingenious; I considered something of the sort but didn't think the author would do such a thing.

Some issues:

1. As noted, the first part, especially the second chapter, ticked me off. Not my kind of material. However, it's fairly brief.

2. The narrator is a successful lawyer, but he's remarkably impulsive and hot-tempered. A successful lawyer keeps his cool while his victim explodes.

3. Technical quibble: the putative murder weapon is variously referred to as a "revolver" and an "automatic." Flip a coin, McGibney! It's eventually described as having an ammo clip, so it's evidently an automatic. Some people use "revolver" when they mean "handgun."

4. There's an ongoing message that at least some women need to be abused a bit as a prelude to romance. No: women generally want a man who can take charge, but that's not at all the same as abuse. Even pretending to despise someone to get their interest is dishonest and manipulative. I would probably write off Mary as a potential love interest. Too obnoxious.

Conclusion. I recommend this regardless. It's milder than most mysteries you'll see today, and it gives you a good feel for an earlier time, when people were just beginning to come to grips with a major new technology.

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