The audiobook edition of “The Profiler’s Daughter” runs for a little over nineteen hours. I made it to the end of the first hour and decided life was too short to listen to the rest.
I know that sounds harsh. I’m sure there are people out there who will enjoy this book but I’m not one of them.
My misgivings started with the Prologue, where a child, out with his younger sister in the woods at night, discovers the corpse of a freshly killed woman and takes the opportunity to fondle her breasts. I almost stopped then. I don’t find under-age necrophilia entertaining.
Reluctant to abandon the book after only a few minutes, I persisted.
Instead of getting the hard-boiled “Wired In The Blood” style of book I was expecting and dreading, I was presented with a slightly silly romance, built around a cowboy boot-wearing female pathologist who pukes at the sight of dead bodies, has a failed relationship with the lead homicide detective and is haunted by some recent trauma that has affected her ability to function. My main reaction was: “not another one of these!”.
What finally persuaded me to stop listening was the quality of the writing, which managed to be simultaneously underwritten and riddled with cliches.
Questioning why I’d decided to buy a book that is so far away from my personal taste, I went back to the publisher’s blurb:
The Profiler’s Daughter is a psychologically haunting thriller that combines murder mystery, love triangle, and family intrigue in one satisfying page burner.
With the benefit of hindsight, I can see that I should have paid more attention to “love triangle” and “page turner” and less to “psychologically haunting thriller”. Even then I should have been troubled by the clumsy construction of the phrase. Shouldn’t it be “haunting, psychological thriller”? How, exactly does something become “psychologically haunting”?