Lauren Henderson: Black Rubber Dress

I liked Black Rubber Dress quite well right up to the final chapters. Sculptress and amateur-sleuth-by-virtue-of-nosiness Sam Jones (don’t call her Samantha) sells a piece of artwork to a London investment bank, which — along with the titular garment she wears to the unveiling — gives her an entrée to, and a pleasantly outside perspective on, an upper social stratum of London. Henderson’s dialogue and prose are consistently lively and often witty. She plays well within the conventions of the cynical first-person mystery narrator, but displays more craft than many genre novelists. Henderson establishes some twisty relationships among the principles, and sets up credible red herrings without leaning too hard on tall coincidences.

The dénouement, though, is a real drag: an overfamiliar put-the-protagonist-in-personal-peril (at the expense of violating the character’s integrity) twist leads into a laboriously-blocked (but nonetheless unconvincing) fight scene.

needs more demons? needs a better ending

Published by therealsummervillain

likes: equality, making things easier to use, biking, jangle, distortion, monogamy dislikes: bigotry, policies that jeopardize people, lack of transparency

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