Let’s start with what’s great in Chaos (it will be brief): the forensic details supplied by the heroine, a medical examiner. For the rest, we are treated with a lengthy description of the Harvard Faculty Club to start, apparently to impress upon us the wonderfulness of dining in a hallowed setting where the heroine and her husband are well known and choose fancy wines (so sorry they won’t be able to enjoy any of it since duty calls!) The obsession with status and exclusivity is quite silly and brings little to the plot. And I could not help but notice that the bad guy is an MIT professor, a fired professor but still. Is this a Cambridge versus Cambridge thing?
There is, perhaps obviously, a psychopath in the story, but it is very strange that (1) the heroine does not have more protection since clear threats have been made and (2) the last plot twist at the very end, which I will not reveal since you may want to read this marvelous story based on my glowing review, does not make sense at all. Said psychopath could choose much better methods to inflict mayhem.
Much of the plot revolves, ponderously, around conflicts between the FBI and the local police (so subtle since the heroine’s husband is a FBI man), which seems to require wasting heaps of taxpayer money to assuage the jealousy of the participants. And this is without mentioning the heroine’s stay in a luxury hotel when she last visited Interpol in Lyon France, a hotel with 12 rooms (I checked!) which functions more as an appendage to a luxury restaurant. Seriously? This continues the I-want-to-impress-with-my-knowledge-of-the-finer-things theme I mentioned earlier and which I enjoyed so much.
There is a corpse, or two, and the villains are properly caught and punished so standard fare and nothing particularly creative.
In case it was not clear, I do not recommend this book. (Don’t despair, I did read a good mystery this week; watch this space on Friday.)