Too many words. The underlying structure of the book seems sound enough, for a run-of-the-mill genre crime novel. But it doesn't seem to have had much editorial input. That got me to wondering just how the publishing houses work nowadays. Many older well established authors have complained a lot over the past few years how book editing has drastically declined. It seems that for most authors, they get more of a copy edit of their book only, and then it's out to the marketing dept. This book badly needs some serious chopping and trimming; much of it reads more like a second draft than a finished polished product. There are just too many words doing too much explaining of mundane boring stuff. And they are hiding the interesting core.
I have always wondered why the name of the editor is not included in the book. The book will credit the cover illustration, the translator, but not the editor. And yet it seems the quality of the editor could make or break a book.
There was an interesting article about the lost art of editing in The Guardian last year: http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2011/feb/11/lost-art-editing-books-publishing
This was promising -- a crime novel set in Alaska, with an Inuit ("we call them Eskimos in Alaska") woman (with Baggage of course, including that old reliable one of Battle with Alcohol) as the main character. She stumbles across a frozen dead baby (or is she lead to it by a Spirit Bear? -- she is indigenous so there seems to be a need to have a mystical spiritual overlay; boring and predictable). The book founders in the plodding narrative which successfully blunts any tension.
ARC from Penguin.