Mr Dixon Disappears
Dixon and Pickering's, County Antrim's legendary department store, is preparing to celebrate its centenary. But the elderly Mr Dixon – a member of the Ulster Association of Magicians – has gone missing, along with one hundred thousand pounds in cash. It smells, pretty badly, of a kidnap.
Israel becomes a suspect in the police investigation and is suspended from his job by his boss, the ever-fearsome Linda Wei. He's having to fight to clear his name.
Reviewed on 6th December 2014
In book two of the Mobile Library series the reader rejoins Israel Armstrong - reluctant mobile librarian in a Northern Irish town who is surprised to be arrested on suspicion of robbery and kidnapping. I paid far too much for this novel for what it was worth, having accidentally given myself permission to go on a minor book-buying spree.
I had thought the first book was okay and commented at the time that I felt it ended too abruptly, so I was keen to find out what happened next. The chief problem with this book is that not a lot happens next, and what little does fails to really make sense. I wonder if this is meant to be part of the charm of this story - that we see everything from the point of view of the main character who isn't up to understanding what's going on around him - but I think that if that were the case it would be funnier if the reader could see him being a bit naive and understanding things better themselves. It actually comes across as the people of Northern Ireland being weird, which is probably a bit offensive.
Ultimately a disappointment, and after two chances I'm ready to give up on this series. The crime aspect of the story was weak, predictable, and straightforwardly implemented, and the character was weak and uninspiring. Oh well.