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Death Watch: Inspector Woodend Series, Book 18 Audio Download – Unabridged

3.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Format: Kindle Edition
I could not believe how many cliches were covered in this book, or how utterly daft the twist at the end turned out to be! Don't read this review if you want to avoid the spoilers!!

Massive Cliche number 1 - DCI Woodend is a maverick, often out on a limb, ignoring police rules and regulations, arguing with his superior officers but always getting the better of them. The part of the book where he physically fights with the Chief Superintendent - in an interview room, in front of a suspect - is just stupid. All the suspect would have to say, if charged, was that he witnessed 2 police officers coming to blows in the interview room and anything he said in the interview would be open to question.

Massive Cliche number 2 - Noughties sensibilities coating sixties attitudes. What I mean by this, is that the author has - as many authors do - applied the attitudes and political correctness of our times to the past, in this case the mid-1960s. For instance, there are 2 female Detective Sergeants in CID - in the mid-60s?? Women were not high-flying detectives in those days - women in the police were told (by their male superiors) to make the tea, to comfort rape victims, to type up reports etc. They were not out in the field doing detective work alongside the men. However enlightened the author would like us to believe her DCI Woodend and DI Rutter to be, in reality (at that time) they wouldn't allow women in their team, at their briefings, interviewing suspects etc. Only a handful of women were rising through the ranks, and they were not encouraged by men in that notoriously male locker-room atmosphere. However, the reporter obviously wants us to think of her heroes as being enlightened instead - instead of being realistic!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Crime fiction generally speaking deals with murder. Death Watch by Sally Spencer certainly deals with murder, but does so in such a way that you realise, perhaps for the first time, that there are crimes which are far worse than that ultimate act. The cover blurb suggests that Sally Spencer's writing is "as finely plotted as Minette Walters". Well it might well be, but in my opinion it's much more readable. The plotting is tight and skilful but also allows you to care about the people involved. The reader becomes angry on behalf of the characters, urges them forward, and rejoices with them at the denouement. Aspects of this provocative novel are far from comfortable, Spencer grabs you by the throat and won't let go. At the end you feel quite wrung out, but also strangely comforted.
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