Ashes of the Earth Review on Inkwatu

Pattison’s Sleuths

Typically, Pattison’s sleuths all have a foot in both sides of the cultural conflict. Often he is a fallen and outcast hero of the culture of oppression who defends the oppressed culture as a side effect of his sleuthing. Here, too, is a feature of Pattison’s novels that set them apart from many mysteries.
Over the course of each series, and to a certain extent within each book, the hero is experiencing his own character arc, a change of perspective, loyalties, belief systems, and sense of purpose. This arc is built into the nature of the character himself. It is a journey of self-discovery for the sleuth. I find this aspect of Pattison’s novels particulary rewarding as a reader. Pattison’s sleuths are not static, two-dimensional characters. This makes for considerable interest and tension. Not only is there a crime to be solved, but the hero himself is a mystery, to us and to himself.
When I look back over the novels of Pattison that I’ve read, I remember many of the characters vividly, not just his heroes. This is not always the case with an author. Just taking the two authors mentioned above, both favorites of mine, Christopher and Ludlum, aside from the main character how many of their other characters do I remember? Not all that many. In Pattison’s novels, I remember quite a few.

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