Snuff by Terry Pratchett
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Commander Vimes, also known as Sir Samuel Vimes, His Grace the Duke of Ankh and Blackboard Monitor Vimes, is on holiday with his family out in the countryside. Young Sam is now six and is very interested in the world and science of poo. But Vimes' police sense starts to tingle not long after arriving at Ramkins Hall, and when a body turns up and he is arrested for murder, the Commander sets off on the chase.
Snuff picks up several years after Thud! and Pratchett continues on his quest to include all the different species in the Ankh-Morpork Watch. It's about goblins in this one - useless, ugly goblins who are rumoured to eat their own children, and yet make exquisitely beautiful unggue pots and can play the harp like angels. It sounds a little impossible, I know.
Pratchett also continues to explore the theme of who watches the watchman and Vimes has to fight (and sometimes cooperate now) with the Summoning Dark. There is delicate balance between how far Vimes lets himself go, and how much he curbs his natural tendencies in order to keep to and uphold the law.
I've always enjoyed the Vimes stories, especially Thud! but for some reason this one felt a little as if Pratchett was trying a bit too hard. Still, everything ties together at the end, the criminals are caught, and Vimes wiggles his way out of a difficult interview with Lord Vetinari. Willikins, Vimes' personal butler (or Gentleman's Gentleman) is being fleshed out a bit more in this one and in certain lights reminds me of Butler in Eoin Colfer's Artemis Fowl series.
My last complaint of the day - Pratchett has apparently forgotten about the use of chapters, which was really bad for me, especially since I'm the type who says "I'll read another chapter before bed".
Overall, it was a good read in Pratchett's classic witty style.
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