on 23 July 2008
This novel was originally published in 1993. This and two of the author's other three stand-alone novels, The Raven on the Water and A Stain on the Silence, were republished in 2007 by Penguin. I have read all three of these Penguin reprints now and I have to say that this one is the least engaging of the three. Having read the "one-line" reviews on the book's cover indicating what a suspense-filled thriller this is, I kept on expecting the story to pick up in intensity or take some unexpected turn, but it never did. The story isn't exactly boring, but it's pretty unimaginative throughout and has a non-surprise ending. While the style of writing is very good, I think most people would nonetheless give up on this one part way through. (One is sometimes left with the impression that newspaper and independent reviewers must be paid to make sweeping statements of acclamation!)
If you haven't read Andrew Taylor before, don't start with this one. The Raven on the Water is definitely more interesting. He also has two British detective series, and not having read any of those stories as yet, I'm wondering if they aren't a better read than his stand-alone novels. I shall have to investigate. I'm not quite ready to give up on this author just yet.
on 9 January 2012
Ohh I loved this...a lovely slow burning, suspenseful gothic novel with more than a touch of the Daphne du Mauriers. Beautifully written with a gripping plot and one of my favourite fiction devices; the possible unreliable narrator. Subtle, disturbing, beautifully paced with memorable characters and a story that creeps along with a whispering dread to the shocking denouement. Fab!