Clamour of Crows
by Ray Merritt
Clamour of Crows features Jonathan Tucker, a widower who resigned from his Wall Street law firm after the death of his wife and children. His peaceful life is suddenly shattered one day when the firm’s most powerful client dies of an apparent heart attack, leaving behind a precatory letter that seems to indicate “murder most foul.” Tuck’s senior partner calls him back to investigate the death, leading to a chase across two continents as he works to piece together the puzzle before time runs out.
This book is written in first person with a light, humorous tone that belies the seriousness of the topic. Tuck tells the story in a rather offhand way, slightly understating the events that occur. He does not focus much on the emotions of the characters or even his own emotions, but rather chooses to concentrate on the developments in the case.
For someone like myself who knows practically nothing about law or business, the details of the story can be a trifle confusing at times, but not so confusing that the implications of what is happening cannot be understood. If you would like to enjoy the story to its fullest, I would recommend that you have at least a very basic understanding of how these things work before reading this book.
Clamour of Crows did not have the suspense I was looking for. Admittedly, I am the kind of reader that likes a lot of suspense in books, especially mystery books, but this book had almost none. I think suspense is a must-have for mysteries, and without it, this book lacked the ability to grip me as the reader. It was not a boring book that I had trouble getting through, but it was certainly not a page turner.
I would not recommend Clamour of Crows as a book you should definitely read. It is not the most interesting book; without the suspense it becomes a bit too much like simply relating the events as they occur. However, it is a book that requires a bit of thinking, as most mystery books do. If you like more intellectual books, then this could possibly be a book you would enjoy. I would recommend it for a more mature audience because of its theme – investigating the death of a powerful man and the implications it has for his business as well as the law firm. In addition, Tuck seems to occasionally notice certain aspects of the figures of the women he works with, something to consider before reading the book. There is also some use of profanities, mostly coming from one character who only makes a few appearances in the book, but occasionally from other people. All in all, unless you wish to read Clamour of Crows simply to stimulate your thought processes, I would suggest reading a more engaging book.