In the northern seaside town of Scarborough, a student is found cruelly murdered. For months, the investigators are in the dark, until they are faced with a copy-cat crime. The investigation continues apace, yet they are still struggling to establish a connection between the two victims.
Ambitious detective Valerie Almond clings to the all too obvious: a rift within the family of the second victim. But there is far more to the case than first appears and Valerie is led towards a dark secret, inextricably linked to the evacuation of children to Scarborough during World War II.
Horrified at her last-minute discovery, Valerie realises that she may be too late for action...
©2009 Charlotte Link (P)2015 Orion Publishing Group
A very sad story well written and devised. A real who done it with an extremely long narrative. I would read anothe by this author.
Avid reader of murder and crime mysteries, and legal thrillers too. I also enjoy humorous, observational writing.
I enjoyed this book and was surprised to discover that it is apparently a translation from the German. It has a very English setting in both time and place. With only a couple of small irks the translation was quite natural and flowed well.
The narration was good, clear and expressive, though the female characters were mostly if a rather similar type, and the narrator struggled to make them different enough to overcome what I think are weaknesses of the text.
This was a rather long tale, long in getting started (so much so that I had to check at first it wasn't a succession of disconnected short stories) and long in coming to an undramatic conclusion that was on the cusp of unbelievability.
The best feature was definitely the book within the book which was more engrossing than the core of the story itself. This was especially well constructed and engaging.
Overall, despite its length and pace it was an enjoyable read and at no point did I feel like putting it down.
I was drawn to this book because I enjoy the crime/thriller genre of books and had recently returned from a holiday in North Yorkshire, the area in which this book was set. The account of the first murder given in the early pages of the book accurately described an area of Scarborough close to the Grand Hotel and Spa area - which I found very engaging.
I really enjoyed some of the writing in this book; some great atmospheric description of landscape and weather for example.
However I found that the narration, although clear, was rather flat and lacked emphasis and appropriate intonation. The narrator also had as irritating way of pausing briefly before the last word of a phrase as if she had turned the page of a book and unexpectedly found an extra word.
Overall the book just felt unnecessarily drawn out. One of the reasons for this was the regular switching of one character's detailed and meandering thoughts to another's without sufficient relevance to the plot development.
There was also a dearth of characters who had anything markedly positive going on in their lives; the detective inspector was filled with self doubts and fear of failure, the principal suspect was handsome and intelligent but for reasons not clearly explained he had become a man with no successes to his name nor any prospect of improvement in his life unless he married someone with property (I didn't find this credible). The grand daughter of the second victim was reportedly a successful doctor who felt a failure in her personal life and was developing an unhealthy relationship with alcohol and so it went on.
By about 10 hours into the story I was wishing for its end - the whole story was just too drawn out and missing a strong coherent structure; I felt that the book would have benefitted from some judicious editing, some elements of joy or perhaps just some signs of hope for any of the characters' future.
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