He Who Dies Last by Christoph Spielberg

He Who Dies LastAmusing but sloppily plotted…

😐 😐 😐

Publication due 9th April 2013

When Felix Hoffman becomes suspicious that one of his elderly patients may have been the victim of an attempted murder, he starts to investigate. It soon becomes obvious that this may not have been an isolated incident. With his feisty girlfriend, Celine, Felix is sucked into a plot involving widespread fraud and multiple murders.

You’d think then that he might have gone to the police with his concerns? No, for the weakest of reasons (to protect the good name of his hospital) Felix decides to handle things himself. And this is one of the book’s biggest weaknesses – the idea that a respected doctor wouldn’t tell the authorities what was going on is frankly ridiculous. Even Dick van Dyke used to keep the police informed of the weekly murders in his hospital! The other huge weakness is that it’s perfectly obvious whodunit from very early on – obvious to everyone but Felix, that is. There is a slight twist at the end, but again signalled so far in advance that it has no shock factor.

Christoph Spielberg(source: amazon.com)
Christoph Spielberg
(source: amazon.com)

On the other hand, the book is well written (and well translated) in a light-hearted and amusing style – hence my reference to Dick van Dyke. This reminded me very much of the style of Diagnosis Murder, and Felix is on the whole an entertaining character though not a particularly likeable one. Sadly, however, there were aspects of the story that were so ludicrous that it was impossible for me to suspend my disbelief enough to really enjoy it. I can’t say what without including spoilers, but suffice it to say that if ever I’m old and ill, please don’t let me be sent to Dr Hoffman’s ward.

Overall, a fairly well written murder mystery let down by sloppy and implausible plotting. Amusing enough to fill a few hours reasonably pleasantly, but I doubt if I’ll be looking out for any more in the series.

NB This book was provided for review by the publisher.

Amazon UK Link
Amazon US Link

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