Monday, March 13, 2023

Death Doesn't Forget - Taipei Night Market #4

Death Doesn't Forget is the 4th Taipei Night Market novel by Ed Lin. Released 19th July 2022 by Soho Press on their Soho Crime imprint, it's 288 pages and is available in hardcover, audio, and ebook formats. Paperback format due out in second quarter 2023. 

This is a distinctly quirky and oddly paced slice-of-life mystery set in Taipei which has a returning ensemble cast of oddball characters, from social media influencer and food-stall owner Jing-nan, his girlfriend Nancy, her estranged (and thoroughly unlikable) mother Siu-lien, and a few others. Most of the characters are just a strange combination of hapless and dishonest or disconcertingly gullible. 

The plotting reminds me of a relatively high-drama soap opera. There was some awkward dialogue and I found myself yanked out of the story on several occasions by the sheer unlikelihood of plot developments including the climax. The denouement was bizarre and possibly the most cynical piece of prose I've read this year. It's clearly meant to be humorous; but it just missed in my case.

Three stars. It does work well as a standalone.  

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

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