August 30, 2016

Book Review: We Were Kings by Thomas O' Malley

We Were Kings, about the IRA in 1950s Boston, sounded super promising, but in the end I was underwhelmed. :(

1. First, it should have been explained on Net Galley that while this is not a series, that a previous book featuring these characters had been previously released. It wasn't on Goodreads I think the author does a pretty good job not making the reader feel left out if they had not read the other one, but still it got in the way.  There were characters that came in from left field and I didn't understand why they were there. 

2. I really enjoyed the thoughtful and creative murder and murder scene.  It wasn't just a regular mob hit.  The tar thing is creepy and crazy and you don't see that in every other mystery/crime novel.  Loved that.

3. The descriptions of 1950s Irish-heavy Boston area was somehow both underwhelming and too much.  Mostly because it was told in info dumps and with a heavy amount of sorrowful pity from some leftover situation in the previous book that I had no idea about and so had no sympathy for.  You should have really let people know there had been another book.

4. The mystery was WAY too obvious. I could have written that plot line in my sleep.  Next you'll tell me you are writing a book where the big reveal is that people are smuggling drugs into the country in their colons.  Did he spend all his creativity and fresh ideas on the tar murder and had nothing leftover for the climax of the book?  Yikes.

5. The depiction of the IRA and its members was either extremely violent, gruesome, and horrible, or it was boring and predictable. I didn't mind the graphic nature, but the downtime left me so bored.  The characters had so much potential but in the end they were basically exactly who you would expect them to be. They weren't surprising enough to be interesting.

Bottom line?  If you haven't read the first book, or aren't someone who reads everything mystery/crime, I'd skip this one.

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