Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Down the Rabbit Hole by Peter Abrahams

Down the Rabbit Hole

By Peter Abrahams

Blurb: Welcome to Echo Falls, home of a thousand secrets.

Ingrid is in the wrong place at the wrong time. Or at least her shoes are. And getting them back will mean getting tangled up in a murder investigation as complicated as the mysteries solved by her idol, Sherlock Holmes. With soccer practice, schoolwork, and the lead role in her town's production of Alice in Wonderland, Ingrid is swamped. But as things in Echo Falls keep getting curiouser and curiouser, Ingrid realizes she must solve the murder on her own -- before it's too late!

Genres: Young Adult, Thriller, Mystery, Realistic Fiction

Published: January 1, 2005

Series: Echo Falls (book 1)

Pages: 407

My Rating: 2 stars

Stephen King blurbed this. And then compared it to Harry Potter. This book is not comparable to Harry Potter. 
First, I did not think that Ingrid was *ahem* particularly smart. She does not tell the police that she was talking to a murder victim right before they died. Then, when she realizes that she left her shoes at the victim's house, what does she do? She sneaks into the crime scene and removes the shoes, not realizing until later that the police just might find this suspicious. Oops. Because of this, I had a hard time sympathizing with our heroine throughout the entire book. 

Second, I was under the impression that perhaps, well, there would be a bit more Sherlock and a bit less soccer/play rehearsals throughout the book. Alas, Mr. Holmes is barely mentioned in the story, even more of a shame when I considered that my copy was nearly four hundred pages. Sherlock Holmes really doesn't play that key of a role in the book at all, when I think about it. I am not sure why they made it seem like he was a significant part of the story in the blurb. 

Third, I didn't find there was much mystery in the plot when all was said and done. I didn't find there to be much suspense or major clue hunting until the very last 50 pages. Again, this is a 400 page book. That means that only an eighth of the book was spent truly investigating what happened. The other seven eighths included Ingrid: 
-Playing soccer/attending play practice
-Hiding her secret from the cops
-Wondering what is up with Vincent Dunn
-Interacting with characters that didn't really add anything to the plot but were still featured a lot.

In regards to that last point, way too much focus was put on these characters. I don't care about the rivalry with Chloe Ferrand if there is a murder I could be reading about. I don't care about Ingrid's whacked up brother if there is a murder I could be reading about. I don't care about Ingrid's crush if there...well, I suppose you get the point.

Not that it isn't good to have a wide range of characters instead of only featuring two or three in the whole book. It's just that they added next to nothing to the overall plot and nothing was really gained by learning about them.

The reason it is getting two stars is because the ending was not totally expected. I saw a lot of it coming but there were things that I didn't expect either. It wrapped up nicely.  (Also, if I am being honest, I have read way worse than this book. I couldn't put it in the league of those books, it wouldn't be fair.)

So, I probably won't be reading the rest of the series since this book failed to impress me, but who knows? I didn't find this a great mystery book so I will not be recommending it to people interested int this genre.


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