Review: “Never Buried” by Edie Claire

neverburied_edieclaireFinal rating: Two cups of tea which bored me to tears.

Boring. Repetitive. Dull. Confusing. And that’s just the main character!

Truly, this book is One Huge Snoozefest. I cringe to think that this is but one in a series, because that means someone actually found this experience an engaging one. No thank you.

OK, so, let’s start with the worst part: The main character. Her name is Leigh, and she’s shallow, self-absorbed, a doormat, and can’t seem to stop herself getting mad at people for displaying the same irritating character traits she does. She also loves sticking her nose into other people’s business–not because she’s smart, or trying to help. No, she just wants some excitement. But not too much excitement, mind. Too much and she starts getting huffy that the people around her don’t want to run away and hide like she does. Saying I hate Leigh with a passion would probably be putting it mildly, mostly because she assumes everyone around her is as crappy as she is. Or worse, that they’re not as smart as she is. Which is an absolutely terrifying assumption when you think about it.

Next up, we have the plot. I use this term loosely. What it boils down to is a 50 year old unsolved double murder in a tiny town full of cardboard cutouts–oh, sorry, I mean characters–suddenly returns to public consciousness when Leigh and her pregnant cousin, Cara, move into an old house and begin receiving threats to leave. Sounds interesting, right? It isn’t. It’s not an interesting or unusual case, there’s no advantage to solving it, and the reason it’s been badly handled is largely because it happened during an era when neighbors loved ignoring each other. (Three cheers for the 60’s.) I honestly don’t know how the author managed to make an unsolved double homicide in a creepy old house full of secrets dull as dishwater, but it happened. Even finding out whodunnit was boring because you see every bit of it coming…except, of course, for the identity of the culprit. He appears out of thin air, because there are literally no clues available to point the reader towards who it actually is. It’s basically a “the butler did it” moment.

Oh, and did I mention that the plot is moved forward not by the protagonist…but by hordes and hordes of weird old people? I am not even kidding.

There is nothing original or surprising about this book. In fact, most of the time it felt like reading a really shitty Nancy Drew ripoff, except the characters were (supposedly) adults. (Their nonsense probably would have made more sense if they were naive teenagers) If you weren’t bored already, in-between murder-solving, pretty much all the protagonist ever does is flit around looking for caffeine and make really terrible decisions.

Also, WOW protagonist, you just left your pregnant cousin at a home which is being actively stalked by someone. Pro move. #MandarayReads

— Amanda C. (@Mandaray) January 8, 2014

Cue protagonist going someplace she shouldn’t go all by herself and without telling anyone else about it. Sigh. #MandarayReads

— Amanda C. (@Mandaray) January 8, 2014

Seriously, DOES NO ONE IN THIS BOOK OWN A CELL PHONE???

Oh yes, and let’s not forget Leigh’s ultimate moment of deductive skill, which happens towards the start of the book. After alerting the police that someone has left a dead body in her back yard, (which she wasn’t *completely sure* was really dead because it was mummified, go watch some National Geographic, please) the police take the body away and examine it. Later they tell her there was a note attached to it (how do you miss that) which says “Get out of my house.”

Her immediate reaction to this bit of news? Why, it’s to tilt her head to the side like a dog, furrow her brow and ask– “Whose house?”

OH I DON’T KNOW, MAYBE THE HOUSE IN WHICH THERE WAS A MUMMIFIED CORPSE IN THE BACK YARD. JUST A GUESS #MandarayReads

— Amanda C. (@Mandaray) January 8, 2014

And so it goes. For another 30 odd chapters.

(We won’t even talk about Cara’s misogynistic prick of a husband, and oh did I mention all of the strange elderly people in this book?)

Really, the only character in this entire book that I liked was Maura, Leigh’s friend and accomplished policewoman. She is the only one who has any kind of emotional stability or intelligence. She also has a very interesting past, actual feelings that don’t make her seem like a shallow, self-obsessed sociopath, and a good backstory. I loved her. In fact, if we could just kick Leigh off of a cliff and give Maura her own series, I’d be delighted. She is the sole reason this shitty mystery got two stars instead of just one.

So yeah, that’s “Never Buried”. Wish it had been.

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