Who killed Sophie Washington?
Early one cold November morning in the run-down seaside resort of Whitley Bay, the body of a young girl is discovered. Found abandoned five minutes' walk from her home, her face has been mutilated beyond recognition.
DI Jack Brady, just back on active duty after recovering from a vicious shooting incident, is on the edge. Struggling to deal with his marriage break-up and his tortured past, his problems intensify when long-standing friend and colleague DI James Matthews confidentially reveals that he was with the victim the night of her murder.
Brady's loyal deputy, the clean-cut, Detective Sergeant Harry Conrad and the attractive and highly-respected police psychologist, Dr Amelia Jenkins are assigned with Brady to solve the victim's murder. But the investigation becomes increasingly compromised as Brady realises that Matthews is holding something back from him that could be vital to the case.
As Brady delves ever deeper into Sophie's life, he comes to realise that the three men who should have protected her during her short life are the chief suspects in her murder: her teacher, her step-father and a police detective.
Brady finds himself unravelling a metaphorical thread that eventually makes him re-evaluate not only the seemingly blameless life of the victim, but more disturbingly, Matthews's motivation and ultimately his own.
©2010 Danielle Ramsay (P)2010 HarperCollins Publishers Limited
A pretty good whodunnit, brilliantly read. Unfortunately the writer seems to have little idea of correct grammar, word order and the use of adverbs. It becomes very irritating and I can't understand why the editors did not correct these errors. 'Jenkins uncomfortably answered...' 'Brady sceptically asked...' It is very jarring. The reader, however, is excellent and manages all the voices and accents very well.
I bought this book, as many people must, because it was so specifically set in Whitley Bay. As a (very willing) exile from that town myself I looked forward to hearing the descriptions of the places I know myself - which I did - if a little sketchily. Why go to the trouble of locating a novel quite so specifically, geographically, and then not make use of it except to damn the locality very comprehensively and a little unfairly.
However this is a small point when viewed alongside the inadequacies of the reader! In the descriptive passage he is fine - but his attempt at a Geordie accent is excruciating! This deficiency is, I'm sure, compounded because a higher than average proportion of the listeners are probably from the North East - having chosen the book because of it's local connections.
Surely there must be one genuine Geordie narrator who could have done a better job with this!
Tea Party Princess
I liked that I recognised this book - I knew what I was reading (listening to). Part of that was that I vaguely know the area but the rest of it was because of the fantastic descriptions. This book was pretty brutal and the descriptions a little graphic, but that's what you get with crime and it really added to the atmosphere. I loved the complex plot and all of the twists and turns and that Jack Brady sticks to his ground with what he believes in.
Pretty much anything by Valerie Laws or Anne Cleeves. Both authors are also local and hit upon a lot of the same issues in the same subtle way.
The main character, Jack Brady. I enjoyed Mike Rogers' portrayal of him and it really fit in with the tone of the book.
YES! I didn't want to put it down and probably listened to it in three sittings, which is unusual for me as an audiobook usually lasts a whole week.
I can't wait to read/listen to more books by this author and performer.
I was utterly sickened by the brutality, swearing, and appalling mis-representation of a police force that this book depicts. That people actually consider this the type of language and subject matter they listen to for 'pleasure' is beyond me. No, it is not gritty reality, just an excuse for bad fiction and a sick storyline. What a waste of money. By the way - I live in the Northumbria police area and the ones I know are not like this!
Based on the previous review, I ordered this one. I am less than halfway through it, and I regret it intensely. I expected the unraveling of a mystery; so far I've got lots of police department politics (ugh!). I expected a smooth, satisfying story; so far I've got ridiculous contradictions, asinine dialogue, uncontrollable 15-year-old girls who are indistinguishable from hardcore prostitutes described as "typical teenagers", and a hero who has been passionately in love with two out of the four women so far introduced and appears to be irresistible to a third. The fourth one is his psychiatrist, so I guess it's just a matter of time. I think there should be a money-back guarantee for the likes of this one.
"Very Good Writer!"
I loved her writing style, no long fillers and explanations. I very much enjoyed Danielle's book and can't wait for her next one. My only disappointment was the fact that there weren't any more of them.
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