on 8 May 2012
Bury Me Deep is inspired by the notorious 1931 `trunk murders' crime. It follows certain factual aspects of that story to frame the narrative, but the story itself is fiction and the ending is substantially different. There is plenty to like about the book, but the real strengths for me are the prose, the pace, the character development, and the plotting. Abbott is clearly something of a wordsmith and the prose is very nicely written. The pace is even and relenting, where it could have been rushed. This I think allows the story and characters to develop and the rationale for the crime that occurs about three fifths into the story to become clear. The characters are all well penned, especially the three lead women and their developing relationship, and the plot is well constructed with a good sense of historical detail. The only thing that seemed to be missing for me was a strong sense of place and geography. I had to keep reminding myself that it was set in Phoenix. I just got no real sense of the town or its landscape or indeed its social organisation and people beyond there being a group of important men that ran the place. As a result, the book felt a little decontextualized, reduced to the relationships between the four main characters and the distant Dr Seeley. Nevertheless, this is superior crime fiction and is well worth checking out.
on 29 February 2012
I found and read Abbott's first three novels a couple of years ago or so, and was utterly hooked by the quality of the writing and the imagination alike. "Bury Me Deep" is fully up to the very high standard set by those three. is it pastiche? Well maybe a bit - but this is nonetheless remarkable and irresistible fiction (usually based on some appalling real-life event), and very highly recommended.