Disordered Minds Paperback – 2 May 2008
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Slowly but surely, Minette Walters has been building up her reputation as one of the UK's most penetrating and distinctive purveyors of the psychological thriller. Disordered Minds will add even more lustre to her name. Such books as Fox Evil and Acid Row demonstrated Walters' reluctance to repeat herself in terms of narrative, and her easy command of the various social groups in her novels (upper middle or council estate) is more sure than that of her colleagues and peers.
Disordered Minds builds on her rich mélange of gifts and continues to strip-mine darker areas of the human psyche than most contemporary novelists--literary or otherwise--are keen to tackle. It's the 1970s: a man dies in prison after a controversial conviction for killing his grandmother. Howard Stamp, an educationally subnormal young man, takes his own life, and the case generates movements claiming Stamp's innocence. Anthropologist Jonathan Hughes digs deeper than the police had originally done, and when Jonathan's path crosses that of the elderly George Gardener, long an advocate of the hapless Stamp's innocence, Gardener co-opts Jonathan in an attempt to clear the dead man's name. But there are some frightening consequences, such as the fact that the real killer will not like being put in the frame again.
As always, Walters is interested in far more than the simple mechanics of crime-novel plotting: Despite their differences, Jonathan Hughes finds that the backward Stamp is still something of a doppelganger of himself, mirroring his own disturbed childhood and sense of alienation, while the background of a pending conflict in Iraq throws the personal dramas sharply into relief. This is Walters at her disturbing best. --Barry Forshaw -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine vergriffene oder nicht verfügbare Ausgabe dieses Titels.
A dark, gripping tale of solitude and evil -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine vergriffene oder nicht verfügbare Ausgabe dieses Titels.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
I did enjoy the book and I did pursue it to the end and, certainly, I will eagerly await any future offerings from Ms Walters. However, I believe this was a flawed novel and perhaps not one which would make a new reader to Walters want to pursue any of her past fantastic offerings, such as The Shape of Snakes, The Sculptress, Acid Row etc... etc...
So what was the problem? I think it's twofold. Firstly, the character of Dr Hughes, who initially poses the idea that Howard Stamp was wrongly convicted of his grandmother's murder in 1970, seems to become far too great a focus in the early part of the book. Following this initial over-emphasis which takes the reader far too far away from the actual plotline, without adding sufficiently to it, Hughes is then suddenly sidelined in favour of telling the story from other viewpoints. It further emasculates an already self-emasculating character and makes his very presence rather irritating. (And personally, I do hate it when authors introduce a new character at the 11th hour because they can't think of any other way to tie up loose ends: the arrival of private detective Sasha Spencer is just too convenient a tool for my taste!)
Secondly, whilst I normally love the way Walters makes her readers weave through an intensely complex plot, I think this one went too far. Lies are told to cover up injustices.Read more ›
The dimension that the author usually puts around the characters seems to be lacking from this one, making it hard to become involved with the story and to get involved with the characters.
I am sad to say that although a big (in past) fan of Walter’s, my only sense of urgency in finishing this book was so that I could move swiftly onto something else.
Unfortunately, the rest of the book fails to live up to its early promise. Yes, it's fairly enjoyable. I had no trouble turning the pages. But it meanders. Waffles, even. There is very little suspense. The central premise is the connection (if any) between the rape and the murder. (Dr Hughes - psychologist, reluctant detective, and a bit of a nutter - tells George, his co-detective, that he has trouble with coincidences.) The same bunch of unsavouries appears in the vicinity of both crimes. And then pops up again, immediately, never mind that over thirty years has passed, when Hughes and George start to investigate. It doesn't take them (or us) long to work out who is really responsible for these crimes. Yet the book is long.
Another problem is that the characters clunk. The workings show. George and Hughes get off to a disasterous start, but hours later they are best of buddies. George and Roy (the nasty minded landlord of George's local) are mates. And then, quite suddenly, they are (literally) at each other's throats. This happens again and again with various relationships throughout the book.
We know what the book's about. It's about not judging by appearances or jumping to conclusions. That's what everyone did back in 1970.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Fantastic author........have always enjoyed her work and this book is one of her bestPublished 17 months ago by Ms Sheila Ann Anderson
Loving this author at the moment, love all the twists and turns and never knowing the outcome right up to the last pagePublished on 3 Oct. 2013 by emma collier
This book was great - you told yourself you would read to the end of the chapter but when you got there you had to carry on.Published on 7 July 2013 by l james
Highly recommended. A full-on slasher special with plenty of character development, especially as regards the serial killer. Reminded me of Psychopath! by Morton Bain.Published on 24 Feb. 2013 by J. Craven
There's a lot of promising material in the first few chapters of this book. It sets off at a cracking pace, with various plot strands tying together some rather sordid events and... Read morePublished on 30 July 2012 by Jemma S
found this book disappointimg compared with her others. thought initially it had downloaded wrongly and i had a non~fiction book instead !Published on 16 April 2012 by goeash
I'd never read a book by this author before and given all of the accolades and awards chucked at her, not to mention the hype that she is "Britain's bestselling female crime... Read morePublished on 7 Dec. 2011 by Nicola F (Nic)
For what it's worth I have never read a dull or boring or bad Minette Walters book! Clearly I am biased because I have not read anybody better. Read morePublished on 15 Oct. 2010 by Mr. C. E. Andersson