I have been a big fan of Douglas Kennedy for a few years now, The Pursuit Of Happiness and A Special Relationship were fabulous books, with great punchy storylines, good lead characters and all round good writing.
I truly have awaited the release of his novels with great anticipation – however – The Woman In The Fifth was such a huge departure from his normal writing that I really did not understand why he had written it. I swallowed hard though and immediately requested Leaving The World in the hope that the last books reviews had persuaded him to return to his normal writing style.
Instead Leaving The World is very slow – by page 250 – 300 I was still waiting for the storyline to pick up. The story of Jane, the university professor whose life seems to go into freefall is so unbelievably slow and the character melancholy and self indulgent. You just long for her to deal with at least something in her life constructively. Many people on this site have written that the last third of the book redeemed it for them. For me it just left me confused about what exactly I was reading. It turned into some sort of detective novel with the lead character getting involved in the hunt for a missing teenager.
After two poor novels I’m not sure how I feel about reading another Kennedy novel – if you are thinking of reading this author then please don’t make this your first book by him. He is an awesome writer when he gets it spot on and unfortunately this book fails to deliver the things I love about him.