No - this post is NOT going to be about the guy who ran naked through the newscast about a local hay fire and made people aware of where our little city was located. I think that clip even made it onto the internet as one of the top ten best streaking videos. Who would have thought?
But, I digress.
This post is about bears. . . .no, not BARES! Get your mind out of the gutter people! Stick with me here!
I am continuing my streak of reading Jasper Fforde books and I finished the last of the books I got from the library.
The book is called The Fourth Bear and is by Jasper Fforde (as if you couldn't read that for yourself!). This is the second book in the Nursery Rhyme series which began with The Big Over Easy about Humpty Dumpty.
In this book, Jack Spratt, the Head of the Nursery Rhyme Division of the Reading Police Department is hit with several very difficult situations. First, the Gingerbread Man, a psychopathic killer, escapes from the local mental hospital and begins another string of horrific murders. Then Jack finds out that he is NOT the lead investigator on the Gingerbread case even though it is obviously Nursery Rhyme related. In fact, Jack is given a leave of absence until he is seen by a psychologist and proclaimed sane enough to continue working.
Which leads to the constantly stated fact that investigators in the Nursery Rhyme Division need to be a bit off center in order to do their work competently. They are dealing with Nursery Rhyme people and logic after all! Jack worries about being found too sane to continue his job. Oh - did I mention the reason for the psychological evaluation? No? It is because Jack was swallowed whole by the wolf in the Little Red Riding Hood case (along with Red Riding Hood and her grandma!).
Finally, Jack becomes involved in another Nursery Rhyme crime - the disappearance of Goldilocks and subsequent assault on Poppa and Mama Bear.
Intrigued? This book is the most complex of the Fforde books I have read so far and is very enjoyable. As Jack unravels the mystery behind the crimes, more and more confusing facts are found which lead in a wide variety of directions. Stir in some domestic problems and Jack really faces difficulties in this book.
I enjoyed this book thoroughly. It was fast paced and engaging and the multiple references to various other literary works continued to make me chuckle as I made my way through the events of the book. My attention was held up until the very last page when the crimes were all wrapped up and onto the addendum in which each of the exploits of the characters are updated for the reader.
If you haven't read a Jasper Fforde book, I would say pick this one up. It isn't vital that you read the first book in the series first as you will no doubt follow the story line easily and figure out the references to the previous book quickly. This is a fast and fun read worth your time.
Voice Update: Good as gold - well, I still have issues with those darn unspoken consonants but . . .