Learn more Shop now Learn more Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Learn More Shop now Shop now Learn more Shop Fire Shop Kindle Learn More Shop now Fitbit
Customer Review

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Disturbingly good, 10 Feb. 2012
This review is from: The Sticklepath Strangler (Medieval West Country Mysteries) (Paperback)
This was the first Jecks novel I'd come across after having it lent to me. It was a great introduction and I now can't wait to read the whole series! It was easy to read, the characters were well crafted, the dialogue believable with any anachronisms used sparingly and to good effect. The plot was superb. The revelation was a total surprise - rather unsettling. No-one in this novel is what they seem. All the twists and turns were remarkably well-handled, with several red herrings and lots of revelations associated with various characters.
It didn't bother me that there were a few small references to the book that preceded this one in the series. Although a murder was briefly mentioned there were no spoilers - if anything it's simply made me want to read it. There is clearly no need to read the series in order, the description of the main recurring characters are solid and realistic enough without needing to jump straight back to book 1.
Some reviewers were unhappy with some of the themes covered. True, the butchering of children and cannibalism aren't the nicest of topics, but the description of the bodies was not unnecessarily gruesome or disrepectful, and I felt that the consequences of the murders was dealt with well, especially the reactions of the villagers. In the 13th century people were genuinely god-fearing, and their belief would not let them contemplate the fact that 'one of them' could kill and eat children, so naturally they were convinced something supernatural would have to have been involved. Their system of 'justice' shown at the beginning of the story would surely have been a natural reaction true of the time, especially during famine, but barbaric and unfair to us today. Jecks has done his research very well and is well within in his rights to include a possible supernatural element - it sums up the panic felt by the people of the village, and yet the whole thing is kept grounded by the main characters firm disbelief, echoing no doubt the thoughts of the reader. However some of the spooky descriptions of the village are so convincing that you may well believe something unearthly really is going on.
My favourite aspect was the build up of tension - the dogs constant howling towards the end of the novel was a brilliant idea - as each character was getting affected and you wondered what each of their reasons were. At one point I even thought everyone was guilty and it was some sort of cannibal village! The way Jecks keeps you guessing at the real murderer/s? - no spoilers here - is that good.
I now want to read the whole thing again so I can see if there were any clues that I missed. This was truly one of the best murder mysteries I've ever read, regardless of the historical genre. Great sense of the era and place, great characters, brilliantly complex and well thought out plot. 10/10.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

Be the first person to comment on this review.

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking on the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
  [Cancel]