Source: Review Copy
When the daughter of a rich and powerful businesswoman goes missing from a country house estate, Detective Don is paid to track her down. Rugged and irascible, Don is an ex-cop who has set up shop in a fast-urbanising Essex countryside. He is also the unwilling owner of a robot butler, and this unlikely duo are forced together as they investigate the disappearance, battling with criminal gangs, corrupt police, MI6, and international cybercrime.
Action-packed and full of twists, the tale is told by PArdew, a kind and unassuming robot. He yearns simply to perform his butler duties but soon finds himself solving crimes, avoiding kidnap, and trying to keep his Master safe from sundry surreptitious folk, who for security reasons cannot here be named …and yes, there are plastic ducks and eggs which cause the blues …and yes, for blues read murder. Lucky for PArdew he’s connected to the Internet of Things.
As the investigation gathers pace Don discovers that behind one mystery there lurks a greater threat. No one is safe, not even PArdew…
Duck Egg Blues by Martin Ungless is a quirky and imaginative piece of crime fiction. I’m always on the lookout for fresh ideas in this genre and Martin definitely delivers the goods in this book.
What immediately intrigued me when I read the blurb was that the story is told from a robot’s point of view. I have to admit the idea did put me off a little bit at first and I wasn’t sure if this was a novel I was going to enjoy, but the plot and the lead character kept me engaged from the first page. I think it was the lead character’s voice that really drew me in. You do get the essence of a Holmes and Watson type of relationship but this is a detective duo with a difference.
In the opening scene we are introduced to PArdrew, a robot butler, who has been purchased by Detective Don, a retired police officer. Although PArdrew is a machine, as he keeps reminding fellow humans and that he is only there to serve; he was a character who I really connected with and I often felt sorry for him for the way he was sometimes treated by Don. Now feeling sorry for a robot is a first, I feel more frustrated when I try to get an answer out of Siri. As PArdrew is becoming acquainted with his new master and his new surroundings he and Don are thrust into a new, perplexing mystery when he is employed by the mayor to find her missing daughter. But as they begin to understand the world that she has become messed up in, they realise that no one is safe and things soon become much more dangerous for both of them.
I did find it interesting that Martin chose to tell his story from the robot’s point of view. Some human traits do slip into the robots narrative, I found this to be the case when he is sometimes describing his feelings but I found that this made him all the more likeable. Martin also drips some humour into the book, this was especially when PAdrew is trying to make sense of humans and the world around him. Don was a character who I couldn’t make my mind up about. As I mentioned earlier I often didn’t like the way how he treated his robot and how he spoke of him but I was rooting for them both to get to the bottom of the mystery.
Duck Eggs Blues is a highly entertaining, action packed novel and I loved it. I’m looking forward to seeing what Martin writes next. Thank you to Rachel Gilbey at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to take part in the blog tour and for providing a copy of the book to read.
Publisher: Limes Publishing
Publication date: 25th May 2017
Print length: 351 pages
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