Saturday, August 11, 2007

The Big Over Easy by Jasper FForde

Humpty Dumpty fell off a wall, but was it accident or perhaps something more sinister? An ex-convict, ladies man and millionaire philanthropist he has his fair share of enemies, including his ex-wife. DI Jack Spratt and his new assistant Mary Mary must get to the bottom of the case, and quick. The Nursery Crimes Division is the laughing stock of Reading Police force and some recent expensive cases that failed to bring convictions have got their superiors ready to shut them down. Can Spratt prove that for once his hunches are right? Can he prove Humpty was murdered, and not by the ex-wife who has conveniently died in a horrific accident at the biscuit factory. With time running out for Spratt and his misfits and an old rival trying to undermine the investigation will Spratt be on traffic duty next week?

I’ve heard lots and lots about Jasper Fforde in the past but it has taken me until now to pick up my first Jasper Fforde book. I have certainly not been disappointed. It was witty, clever, funny (not in the laugh out loud sense, more in a quiet smirk kind of way) and a good story. I didn’t see the ending coming, but it wasn’t totally unrealistic. Lots of twists and turns and red herrings just to keep you guessing. A well put together murder mystery which pokes fun at the publicity over quality of results culture we keep finding ourselves in. The clever allusions to nursery rhymes that fit in neatly to the book are well thought out. From Giorgia Porgia the legendary crime boss, to DI Jack Spratt himself who has an unfortunate habit of killing tall people.

There’s nothing negative I can really say about this book. Ok so it’s not laugh out loud funny but that’s because of the type of humour. It will certainly appeal to anyone looking for more than just a quick holiday read. It does make you think, but not too much. The pace is good and like all the best films, just when you think they’ve solved it they haven’t, but fortunately it doesn’t get boring like the end of Casino Royale (it’s not a positive thing to sit in the cinema and keep saying, isn’t this over yet???).

I would recommend this to everyone, its well worth a try! I’m looking forward to reading the next book, ‘The Fourth Bear’.

*5 stars*

1 comment:

The Book Fiend said...

This was the first Jasper Fforde I read too - and I loved it so much I followed it up with The Fourth Bear and have since read The Eyre Affair and Lost in a Good Book. I have the next two Thursday next books waiting to be read and I'm really looking forward to them!

I hope you'll get hold of the rest of his work and enjoy them all as much!