Never Somewhere Else by Alex Gray**

Reading dates: 16 – 23 April 2014

I really like crime fiction set in Glasgow. The place is a character, and one I happen to know, so this adds an extra depth to the reading experience. Yet, this setting is the only thing I liked about Lorimer’s first outing. The story is clever but only through being a text book detective story and not much else. I was not blown away by the writing and, although it was an easy page turner with no friction, not much remained after I closed its last page. It made me think about crime fiction as a genre, though. I read these books and I enjoy them, but what do I take from them? What remains? Not much in relation to the amount I read … Can there be innovation in the genre or is it simply a formula that works but is repetitive? Surely someone can go where Gombrowicz went with Cosmos, or Poe with The Purloined Letter. But who? Denise Mina got close with the Garnethill trilogy (especially through the fabulous main character Maureen O’Donnell) but did not quite make it. Alex Gray, however, is as far as Jo Nesbo is. I may read more of her books, and I know I will enjoy them but books like this tell me that enjoyment is not all there is to the act of reading.