Eight Detectives by Alex Pavesi

Image of the front cover of the ebook version of Eight Detectives by Alex Pavesi. The front cover is displayed on a Kindle Paperwhite which is laid on a brightly coloured background that looks like a bookcase with the spines facing towards the viewer. The front cover features the author's name and the book title alongside an image of a fountain pen and some circles that are reminiscent of ink blobs. To the left is a title that reads 'Review, Eight Detectives by Alex Pavesi, www.chatterfox.co.uk'

Eight Detectives by Alex Pavesi is unlike anything I've ever read before. It's a book within a book. There's a collection of individual and stand alone murder short stories collectively known as The White Murders that are interspersed throughout the main book, Eight Detectives in such a unique way. Eight Detectives focuses on publisher, Julia and the illusive and socially withdrawn author Grant as they discuss the upcoming publication of Grant's iconic work "The White Murders". As a reader we get a short story from The White Murders followed by a chapter that involves Julia interviewing Grant discussing the short story, how we wrote it and what it meant to him at the time. It's a fantastic format and not nearly as complicated as I've made it sound.

There are seven short stories that make up The White Murders and none of them relate to each other. They are all incredibly interesting and each individual story explores different elements and techniques involved in writing crime fiction. Some of the stories are mysterious, some are bloody and gruesome, all of them are suspenseful and intriguing. Each short short story is written as a whole chapter therefore some of the chapters are incredibly long, some taking me a few nights to finish. I found this a bit annoying as I like to finish a chapter before I go to sleep. A minor bug bear though as the short stories are so gripping.

I find it amazing how Alex Pavesi has managed to place an entire book, The White Murders, inside another book, Eight Detectives and has managed to do it so seamlessly. The alternate chapters explore the relationship between publisher Julia and author Grant as they delve into the authors past. Many have wondered why Grant disappeared when he was finally getting the acclaim he deserved- can Julia unravel why Grant went missing? 

The characters of Julia and Grant are excellently defined and compliment each other well. The interactions between them are thought provoking and intense. If you have an interest in how books are written and literary techniques then this book will appeal to you. It doesn't read like a text book but you do inadvertently pick up some of the information. I especially like how Julia and Grant discuss each short story and the techniques Grant used. It's like the author is giving the reader the skills required to piece together and predict the ending. What's really clever is that you don't. You think you've been given what you need to know but you haven't. It's just such an intelligent yet entertaining read.

I came nowhere close to predicting the end of Eight Detectives and I didn't really anticipate many of the endings for the short stories either. It turns out I'm not the detective I thought I was which of course makes the title of the book so clever. There are eight detectives and one of them is you. All the book talks about is how to create the perfect murder novel and the techniques authors use to create mystery and suspense. All the clues are there but they are hidden to perfection. This is without a doubt one of the most intellectual yet entertaining books I've read in a long time, it balances being clever with being fun to read in an amazing way. I cannot recommend this book highly enough. 

Thanks For Reading 

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