Top critical review
on 10 February 2016
Despite some glaring typos, I was drawn into the story. I wanted to know what happened and why. I enjoyed it - if that's the right word for a fairly grim story. However, it did feel a bit two-dimensional, everyone is so quick to turn against Jenny. There are times when people feel alone and abandoned and that was realistic, but in this context we have to see all Jenny's colleagues as self-serving and distrustful. Risks tainting entire professions, as neither Police nor Social Workers show her any compassion. There is no sign of the troubled past that appears in the series proper, nor does she come across as cold or unpleasant. So it is hard to understand why none of her colleagues is remotely friendly, let alone a friend.
Her desire to be available to someone in such need and her own need to escape from her job, even if only for a few minutes, are believable - there is a tension between wanting to be human and needing to be professional. In addition,
her concern for her son also explains the "error" that drives the story - but this is error is somehow, both bad enough to provoke the aforementioned abandonment and yet so slight as to have no implications for her future as a Coroner - this is, paradoxically, both annoying - because of the suddenn, unexpected, outcome, and true to life - because the same facts often are interpreted in very different ways by different people. How or why we reach the outcome is not explored, we are given little insight into the mind of the Coroner who represents Jenny's new beginning and anticipates her new career. Jenny seems likeable, if a little too vulnerable - not at all like she seems to become in the first novel. As much as I liked this, I don't feel drawn to read the series.