Top critical review
My first foray into the genre
on 15 May 2013
Apart from reading a variety of stories and books by Arthur Conan-Doyle, this was my first try at the crime genre, having been put off completely by Agatha Christie! This modern and down to earth book was a very long way from either Sherlock or Miss Marple.
If I hadn't learnt that author Helen Black deals with criminal cases - especially family cases - within the inner city, I'd have assumed a lot of what she was writing was too far-fetched. However, I am certain she knows what she is writing about and knows the score far better than I do. On some things, though, she seems to be under-estimating the ability of her readership.
Just one example of this (and there are others) is that even I, with my limited knowledge of the law, know that for a doctor to hand over a patient's medical records there needs to be a court order. Yet a policeman with twenty years experience apparently is unaware of this. Unlikely. On another occasion, a psychiatrist is apparently happy to discuss details about a child (and the child's mother) with the estranged father - in the middle of a shopping centre and with complete strangers listening in - again, this seems very unlikely to me.
Generally, suspension of disbelief was occasionally stretched - the heroine, suffering from flu, had been attacked, almost strangled to death and needs stitches for a bad cut gained while stabbing her attacker. Within minutes it seemed, she was able to travel into the night in the snow and when the temperature was well below freezing - and no-one (paramedics/ex-boyfriend/police) even TRIED to stop her. Obviously only a bit of a sniffle then?
However, taking everything into consideration, this was not a bad book and opened my eyes to a reality I didn't know previously. I could have done with a bit less soap opera and a bit more crime drama, but all-in-all I enjoyed the book and I'm certainly not put off this author's work.