Till Sudden Death Do Us Part by Simon R. Green

Till Sudden Death Do Us Part (Ishmael Jones #7)

Till Sudden Death Do Us Part by Simon R. Green

Publisher: Severn House Publishers

My rating: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

I received a copy of this book from the publisher, Severn House Publishers, and the author via netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Ishmael and Penny are back for another mystery. Things are going swimmingly for the pair, besides Ishmael’s “other” side trying to break out, when the Colonel appears bearing a message from an old friend of Ishmael’s. Knowing the kind of person that Robert Bergin is, Ishmael doesn’t take it lightly when he has to make the decision whether to help his old friend or not, of course he does. Knowing that this will probably raise more questions for Robert and Penny than Ishmael is comfortable, he pushes through and accepts the call for help with no questions asked. Once the couple have arrived in the sleepy, country town where Robert now resides, they find themselves asked “Are you here for the wedding? Or the murder?” What follows is a race against time as Ishmael is tasked with protecting Robert’s soon-to-be married daughter from either a murderer intent on ripping the happy couple apart, or the centuries old family curse of the Bergin’s. Twists and turns abound as Ishmael and Penny do everything in their power to keep the bride and groom alive and get to the bottom of things before it’s too late.

I first came to know of Green when I was approved for the previous book in this series, Murder in the Dark, which is book number six in this series. I haven’t read any of the previous titles in the series, but I’m really looking forward to getting my hands on them. Though these mysteries are generally coloured with darker tones than a cosy mystery, there’s still something cosy about them to me. They tend to lean more towards the supernatural and paranormal aspects of the world rather than your run of the mill revenge murderer, that’s not to say that it’s never the human though. I’ve always been fond of the more supernatural and paranormal stories that I come across as it just adds that little bit of extra oomph that I’m looking for in a story. I was not disappointed with Murder in the Dark and I wasn’t disappointed with this one either.

The story starts off with Penny and Ishmael in London (I think? My memory is shocking), they’re on a break of all things. Taking breakfast in the morning sun, deciding to take a stroll down a street that Ishmael hasn’t seen since the 60’s. The only difference is, Ishmael is finding that his other self, the alien part of him, is breaking through and he is struggling to control it. Funnily enough, after finishing the story, I find there to be some interesting parallels between what Ishmael is dealing with and other things that are happening in the story itself, I quite enjoyed this. After the Colonel finds the pair, much to their disdain, they set off to a small, country town so that Ishmael can help an old friend of his.

I found the beginning of the story to drag quite a bit as things were set up, from memory, I had the same experience in the previous book I’ve read in the series. Once Penny and Ishmael had met with the Colonel and it was decided that Ishmael would help his old friend, the pacing picked up a little bit. That’s not to say that this is a quick read, even though it’s relatively short, I’ve found, in my experiences, that Green’s stories are more of a slow burn. There’s no rushing to be seen in these stories at all, it’s more of a languorous stroll through the pages than a race, even though the suspense is an absolutely killer at times.

As always, Penny and Ishmael are witty and charming and all things likeable in a sleuthing, working for a secret government agency, pair of lovers, one with a secret that he keeps buried deep. They’re relateable and likeable in their personalities. Green does an excellent job of ensuring that all characters in his stories have their own voice and distinctive personalities, you have the overbearing Gillian, the bride to be, the acquiescing groom in Tom, who will always do what Gillian asks. The old friend, Robert who is struggling with all the aspects of growing old, namely that he can’t protect his daughter how he once could. The nosy and loud reporter Linda, with the mouse like camera man Ian. Cathy who’s personality can only be described as larger than life and incredibly loud, we have Inspector Godwin, the only person able to be spared when there is murder afoot; the ever suspicious, dutiful law enforcement officer just trying to do his job. And lastly we have characters who are further set back than even secondary characters, the bit players who even though they blend in with the background more, are still very distinctive and memorable. If Green can do anything well, it’s giving life and realness to the characters he creates, even those that are the literal wallpaper of a story, something that blends in with the background and is just there to contrast with the main objects of the story.

The mystery itself was incredibly interesting. The whole time I had no idea whether it was supernatural or simply human monsters that were responsible for the murder (and past murders at that). Roughly halfway through I though “Ha! I’ve got it, I’ve worked it out already” nope, it wasn’t so, I do love to be proven wrong in these instances. It’s never fun when you work it all out before the main characters of a story. THEN! Just as the big reveal happened BAM! Another twist. I did NOT see this one coming AT ALL. Not one bit. I’ve come to expect big firework, finale finishes of Green’s work so I sincerely hope that I am not disappointed when I start my foray through the series from the beginning!!

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