Sins of the Father (Jimmy Suttle 3) Paperback – 5 Nov 2015
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Superior crime fiction (India Knight Sunday Times)
Hurley's DS Jimmy Suttle thrillers are my favourite British crime series right now... Hurley's a master of plotting and superb characterisation... A terrific and tantalising read." (PETERBOROUGH EVENING TELEGRAPH)
One of the best of the two dozen or so novels he's written....the book is as much a story of Suttle and Lizzie's emotional battles as it is a police who-dunnit, but as it happens the detective element is first class....past atrocities mingling cleverly with present injustice. (THE TIMES)
'A clever, complex story, harnessing the dark secrets of a dysfunctional family to the disbelief and despair of a family torn apart by a cruel and senseless killing.' (LANCASTER GUARDIAN)
"One of the best of the two dozen or so novels he's written....the book is as much a story of Suttle and Lizzie's emotional battles as it is a police who-dunnit, but as it happens the detective element is first class....past atrocities mingling cleverly with present injustice. (TIMES)
DS Jimmy Suttle investigates a murder in a house haunted by the past in the latest from 'one of the UK's finest crime novelists' (INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY)See all Product description
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Also in the same way that dear old decent, bird watching Jim Faraday was completely outshone by roguish Paul Winter (and to an extent Bazza) in the latter books of the previous series, I’m beginning to feel a bit of character takeover by the unlovable Lizzie. I’ve never warmed to her character, from when she was first introduced, although it is a skilful rendition of a prototype modern hard-drinking, slightly promiscuous young woman who grabs at her career with both hands at the expense of her nearest and dearest. I’ve always felt sympathy for her mother! However, it was a crass decision of Jimmy’s to move her, as a newish mother, away from family support, a busy, fulfilling job and a town to a crummy cottage in rural Devon. By the end of the 2nd book they were seemingly heading for a rapprochement, although I did wonder how the Police felt about quite such an energetic investigative reporter nosing around her husband’s cases. As others have noted, to be at the centre of two major headline grabbing criminal incidents in a short time smacks of carelessness (and the extreme unlikelihood of it detracts somewhat from this book). The family tragedy that is revealed alongside Suttle’s investigation of the murder in the title is well drawn and absorbing, Lizzie’s self-centred and frankly rather weird approach to coming to terms with it notwithstanding. Like all of Hurley’s books it is never less than a gripping read and I did enjoy it; I just don’t think they are on a par with the Faraday books. (But I’ve ordered the next one!)
Additionally the theme of mental illness is explored and through Hurley's detailed writing it gets you to think about how the signs are not recognised, or if recognised can be ignored; how this affects how a person thinks plus the difficulties that professionals providing support are up against.
Having read the previous two novels in this series. with the last leaving an impression that Jimmy and his wife were back on track, I was totally unprepared for the opening twist in the Prelude and Chapter One which was written so cleverly. I went back and re-read these straight away and of course the clues were there.
So why 4 stars and not the usual 5 stars that I give to Hurley's novels? Well, Suttle thinks to himself "Life as he knew only too well could take you by surprise". As a reader this is how I feel about his character - that he is a surprise to me (particularly his sexuality in the last 2 novels) and I don't feel that I know him that well. On the other hand Lizzie's character is so well drawn and the pain that she feels is expertly conveyed. Even the victim and his family were easy to relate to than Jimmy.
Overall, this is an excellent read, written superbly with a continuous pace so that you want to keep reading.