It’s been awhile since I actually finished a book, but…I actually finished a book, so go me!
It was a long slog, but this afternoon at Colectivo Coffee on State Street, I finished Seaside by Scarlett Thomas, AKA the third in the Lily Pascale trilogy of mysteries.
Seaside had its ups and downs, but most of it was kind of unremarkable. The case revolves around twins Alex and Laura Carter. Laura is found dead, of an apparent suicide; however, Alex, the surviving twin, is claiming to be Laura. And whomever is dead…well, let’s just say that it might not have been a suicide. Lily Pascale is on the case, and Scarlett Thomas, for what it’s worth, is on my nerves once again with the whole “cut to the murder scene in italics, cut back to the present day” literary device, which just confuses me. Needless to say, I figured out the clues far earlier than Lily did, but I guessed I must have glossed over a few details because I ultimately didn’t figure out the culprit in the end. Overall, the ending of the mystery part was unsatisfying, but the end of Lily’s story arc was nicely done; Thomas did a good job of tying some loose ends but leaving plenty of threads for a fourth book, should it ever materialize. I think I’m at peace with Lily Pascale, and for some reason I think that Scarlett Thomas is as well.
Probably the worst thing about the novel was Lily herself. She was dealing with a much higher level of criminals, including a highly intelligent but psychopathic teenager, but at moments she came off as kind of wimpy. She called in Star for reinforcements, who was a total champ about it – Star deserves her own series – but Lily, at times, could not hold her own. She had far more lucky moments than skillful ones in this book, and I figured some things out way before she did. It also didn’t help that Jack was introduced as a serious love interest, meaning that some of the mystery stepped aside for a more-than-average amount of romance. What really made my brain hurt was when Lily allowed the prime suspect, who had the capability to murder, to shack up in her own home. Are you crazy, Lily? This girl could murder you in her sleep and probably would have had you been slower in solving the case.
Overall, looking forward to reading more Scarlett Thomas now that I’m done with the Lily Pascale mysteries.
This book review was brought to you by the University of Chicago Library, for lending me the book, and the Interlibrary Loan System as a whole for not charging me any late fees even though the book was a week overdue.