A novel on the art of watching paint dry would be more interesting than this. Manhattan Is My Beat by Jefferey Deaver almost had me beat. I tried hard, very hard to read this book by the creator of Lincoln Rhyme three times before I finally managed to finish it and that in itself was a battle of wills. What forced me to finish this Jefferey Deaver mystery is that I normally like this kind of novel and I kept wondering why reading this one was such a bloody chore.

Jefferey Deaver had a pretty good story in his hands. A young, very strong minded, independent young lady, Rune, finds her favourite video store customer dead when she drops by to pick up a movie he had rented. The movie, Manhattan Is My Beat, is supposedly the true story of a bank robbery that took place some forty years ago where the money was never found. She decides to figure out the murder and find the money the old man kept hinting about.  I have always very much enjoyed such characters and the blurb on the back of this mystery novel made me want to read it.

Unfortunately, Jefferey Deaver has a serious problem with actually telling the damn story. There are so many useless secondary characters and scenes that I dropped this mystery a least a couple of times before forcing myself to get through it. The idea of a mystery novel is to solve the mystery and actually write about the mystery itself. Instead, Deaver has his main character spend many a page at her job almost getting fired.

Deaver had a great plot here, a great character in Rune and he basically pissed it all away. Even when the story finally starts to move, it does so slowly and ploddingly. Things get moving in the last couple of chapters where five characters get killed off.

Manhattan Is My Beat
Jefferey Deaver
Bantam Books
293 pages

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