Top positive review
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Well paced, well told story
on 17 March 2013
Despite the debilitating side effects of migraine medication, and of course the migraine, I have spent most of the morning devouring this book. It takes quite a book to get me through that I can tell you! The story is well paced and well told. It doesn't rush along so as to leave the reader panting to catch up, nor does it ever get tedious. It isn't so much "whodunnit?" as "who dun what, when?" and although I worked it out fairly quickly - the clues are there, but so are the red herrings - I also had an alternative scenario in mind. Having those ideas in place didn't detract from my engagement with the book in any way whatsoever though. I liked the contrasts between the socially engaged, and community life of one sister and the lonely, fearful life of the other one. The narrative is beautifully descriptive but not intrusively so. A huge plus point is the way in which the detective, whose own life has been destroyed by tragedy, learns from this case that he has to move on and allow himself to open his heart and build his faltering relationship - such an antithesis of the usual cynical, detective, losing the battle with the demons in his own life. This one solidly vanquishes them.
There are one or two typos which really need correction - one of them being that in one instance the name of the surviving sister is used as that of the victim. From time to time the narrative is told in the voice of the dead sister with no warning. I didn't find it a problem, but perhaps it might be an idea to signal that, by just inserting the victim's name as a chapter heading?
Although on the whole the references were right, there were one or two which sounded American. The biggest one being that when he was called "officer" in the way that many of us do, the policeman insisted that he should be called "detective". Being British, Michelle Muckley should have known that he would have identified himself as "inspector", "chief inspector" or whatever his rank was. This was an issue which was repeated throughout the novel and irritated me each time.
Overall this is a good story, and worth spending the time to read and I am happy to recommend it.