I was asked by the author, Nick O'Brien to review "Respect for the Dead".
Reading this book marked my return to fiction after a while and the 230 or so pages just melted away. The book tells a story which is based for the most part in suburbia in the UK and the business community in the Netherlands. Some extraordinary events unfold from some very routine and plausible activities. The characters are richly painted and the focal character is "everyday" enough to be very credible and has a lifestyle that I think a lot of us can identify with. The plot is maintained to the end of the book with an unexpected and slightly sad twist.
I found this book quite atmospheric and could visualise many of the characters who could be people I have known and worked with. This quality gives the book a sense of realism in an everyday and arguably slightly mundane way. The trick is, however, that this routine world conceals a more sinister one. Respect for the Dead is conventional in its setting, values and assumptions and somehow I felt it was slightly 1990s rather than 2013 but that is not a criticism - to me, that fact added to the realism and atmosphere. I think one of the strengths of the text is that you could imagine the extraordinary events unfolding in your own neighbourhood and/or workplace because they take place against a familiar and ordinary background.
In summary, a very credible crime thriller and enjoyable read. Recommended.
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