The Crime of Julian Wells - abandoned

The Crime of Julian Wells - Thomas H. Cook
Well, that was pretentious.

Extended version: I didn’t get too far into this. Extremely early on comes this line, and I noted it wondering if it might be a pre-emptive strike: “I, the stay-at-home literary critic, whose primary gift was in dissecting novels that, no matter how awful, were certainly beyond my own creative powers.” Well, pttthhpf to you too.

I couldn’t get comfortable with the writing, or even reach an agreement where I acceded to be uncomfortable. It was more like a stylized play than dialogue between two people who are – I assume? - supposed to be realistic: “Not enough to have saved him, evidently,” I answered. “Which means I’ll always be silent in that boat.” She looked up at me. “I guess we all leave a trail of little pebbles scattered on the forest floor,” she said. “But I’ll always wonder where those pebbles would have led to with Julian.”

In fact, all through the short few pages I tried, I argued with the book via Kindle.

Narrator: “But why was I recounting Julian’s personal history? I wondered. What good would it do now?”
Well, duh, you’re informing the reader.

“He had always been impatient with my bookish talk”
That will happen when your every sentence carries an allusion.

“Julian had come across the case of Antonis Daglis, the otherwise nondescript truck driver who had murdered several prostitutes. For Julian, such ordinary murderers were of no interest. Tracing their crimes, he said one day while we drank ouzo in an Athens taverna, was like following a shark through murky waters, dully recording that it ate this fish, then that one. It was evil he was after…”
Killing prostitutes wasn't evil enough?

It was all highly self-conscious, presenting the story self-depracatingly and defensively and rather arrogantly all at once. I don’t know if that was the voice of the protagonist or of the author – but either way it got old very quickly.