A stunning bestseller from Britain's most exciting crime writer
But then, Walters has also written much weaker novels like "The Echo" and "The Breaker", neither of which were very interesting or involving and which I had to plod through...
"Fox Evil" is somewhere in between the two - it has some great characters and the opening few chapters of the novel set things up for a cracking plot... and then it all goes awry... I was really quite disappointed with how the book panned out. As other reviewers have said, the ending is quite a disappointment. Walters has in the past given her books quite open endings, leaving us wondering what happened next... did X really kill Y? etc... but this one is simply an anti-climax (and it's a struggle to get there).
It's disappointing, from an author like Walters - who can be truly, sensationally, jaw-droppingly awesome in her writing at times - that this book doesn't go anywhere and that the twists we seem to be promised never really materialise. A few of the characters here, most notably the travellers and the snooty villagers, are pure caricature, and I know that MW can do a lot better. I liked Nancy Smith - although she is no Jinx Kingsley (from "The Dark Room").
All in all, a missed opportunity, and I've given it 2 stars because I expected a lot more from this particular author and was disappointed - it's not, all in all, a bad book, just a rather frustrating one. I hope "Disordered Minds" sees Ms Walters back on form!
But, when a troop of new-age travellers sets up camp near the village and claim they can stay as long as they wish - permanently, even - for it can't be proved that anyone owns the land, the villagers find themselves in a mess. The only person who could help is Colonel Lockyer-Fox, but after months of their abuse and segregation, he is too tired and worn out, mentally and physically, and no longer cares enough to do anything to help.
Which could be a catastrophe. Because all the while the travellers are there, the village is under threat from their violent and mysterious leader, the enigmatic Fox Evil...
As always, Minette Walters' wonderful writing style makes this psychological thriller a pleasure to read, and each sentence is a joy. The psychology of her characters (and there are many, all fully developed) is deadly accurate, and every action they make is completely believable and true to their characters. The plot (and book) is very strong, indeed, probably her strongest yet. It's complex and powerful, with many disparate threads twisting together. But...
...there is very little suspense. If I were to reveal the main culprit here, it wouldn't spoil the denouement of the book.Read more ›
The earnest young doctor of Acid Row, Sophie Morrisson, is here Captain Nancy Smith of The Royal Engineers. The good-hearted, respectable Mum from the sink council estate is here a good-hearted, respectable Mum from a travellers' encampment. The wicked old Polish whiner, Franek, has become a wicked old whining servant, Vera. I could go on....
If you've never read a book by Minette Walters, you'll probably find it a good page-turner, but readers of her previous books might as well just re-read Acid Row which covered the same ground, only better.