Author: Minette Walters
Description: My usual rule is never to read reviews of a novel until I have written my own. In this case I have been obliged to break it, if only to reassure myself that “it’s not just me”.
I suspected from the description in the opening paragraph (of the washed-up corpse of a female rape victim) that I might struggle with this one. By the time I got to the toe-curling account of an adolescent voyeur 5 pages later I knew for certain. I battled on to page 22 (of 447) before reminding myself that I can squeeze in 30 books a year if I’m lucky, so they’d better be good ones.
Thus my recourse to fellow readers. Aha! – 46 reviews and more than half of them 3-stars or below. And – appearing several times – the single word that I had written on my bookmark, “unconvincing”.
It was my first Minette Walters – recommended by an industry source: a novel that combines suspense with detective fiction. Judging by the disappointed Amazon reviewers, it is below her normal standard. It may well achieve the much-heralded cross-genre result, but the characters – in their actions, words and thoughts – were rushed and contrived, and unwilling to let me get a grip on the plot.
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