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The End of the Web by George Sims
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The End of the Web (1976)

by George Sims

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The End of the Web is an unusual mystery. It starts out conventionally enough. There’s Leo, a middle-aged antique dealer, who is flattered that the lovely, young Judy Latimer seems attracted to him and he’s not the type to be faithful. He’s got things on his mind, though, a dubious business deal and a missing colleague. But, just as you settle yourself into what seems to be a honey trap and how-to-get-out-of-it story, everything is turned upside down completely and all assumptions are tossed out the window. It was quite shocking and a bold departure from form.

Enter Ed Buchanan who has the makings of a series detective, a former cop, a former race car driver, but he lacks drive. He’s a half-hearted detective at best, not sure there really is a mystery despite some odd and suspicious circumstances. He seems more interested in pursuing Leo’s young employee than the mystery.

While well-written in terms of creating an environment that is so real we can almost feel the air, the cold rain, the wind, and wet, this book feels incomplete. Even the main character Ed feels as though the story is not done at the end. Ed does not so much solve the case as have it explained to him by one person and have the murder announce himself at the end. However, even though I roll my eyes at the villain explaining the conspiracy at the end in movies and books, I do think this killer had some explaining to do and didn’t.

Worse, the murderer was obvious at the first encounter. If you read mysteries fairly often, you recognize certain characteristics as ones that announce the murderer as loudly as royal heralds. They include the person who inserts him or herself into the investigation or the person with the perfect alibi or the person who is too helpful, too knowledgeable. Of course, recognizing the murderer didn’t ruin the story because I could have been wrong (I wasn’t.) and even knowing the identity of the killer not supply a motive. The why of the murders is the real mystery…and to be honest, that is not satisfactorily solved. There is a court card in this story and we can’t be sure it was found.

I received an e-galley of The End of the Web from the publisher through NetGalley.

The End of the Web at Poisoned Pen Press
George Sims obituary in The Independent

https://tonstantweaderreviews.wordpress.com/2017/12/09/9781464208980/ ( )
  Tonstant.Weader | Dec 10, 2017 |
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An antiques dealer is missing; then another is killed. An illegal "ring" was formed to buy antiques cheaply at auction. A desk was bought and papers discovered proving some high class people were Nazi sympathizers in the 40's. Blackmail. Ex-cop, friend of dead man's family, working to solve the murder. One bad guy dies... but who was giving him orders... appears we're left guessing at the end!
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