A Review of The Pale Blue Eye

23:59 Tue 21 Aug 2007. Updated: 19:16 23 Jun 2013
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The Pale Blue Eye is a historical thriller set in 1830s America, at West Point Military Academy. A murder there brings a retired police constable, Augustus Landor, back to work, and in the course of his duties he becomes friendly with one of the cadets—Edgar Allan Poe.

It’s quite a good thriller, and while I thought parts of it were predictable, I didn’t see through the entire plot, and so found some surprises at the end. It has a strong cryptographic element, but this doens’t intrude too far into enjoyment of the story.

Its style appealed to me. It had a light touch without being insubstantial, and the characters were all believable. Especially the main two protagonists, and I found their relationship interesting. Furthermore, the atmosphere of West Point and its surrounds is very well rendered, with the locale being close to a major character itself.

It’s not particularly “military” in tone or plot, despite the setting—that is, I don’t think any interest in military affairs is required to find it interesting.

The Pale Blue Eye was the 26th book I’ve read this year (which, sadly, puts me rather far behind in my reading).

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