23 Nov 2020


Given that I shall be sharing my thoughts on not one but four novels today I shall not be sharing the Back Cover Blurbs, the First Sentence nor my Memorable Moment. For the synopsis please click on the book title.


The first book in the Tennison series. Tennison tells the back story of DCI Jane Tennison who featured in the TV programme Prime Suspect

With murdered teenagers in the first part and a bank robbery in the second (both tenuously connected), though fairly average as far as police procedurals go, Tennison proved an enjoyable enough read. For me however, perhaps the most interesting (if slightly predictable) thing about the book was the insight it gave into how difficult it was for women to rise through the male dominated ranks of the police force at that time (1973) and the amount of, juvenile pranks sexism that went on; that the author reiterated this time and time again however did become a bit tiresome. That it also gave a glimpse into the fashions, music and price of everything from a bacon buttie to a packet of cigarettes (both of which the young Jane Tennison was of course expected to fetch for her male colleagues) provided an amusing historical aspect. 


The first book in the Lacey Flint series. With a Jack the Ripper aspect to the book I fully expected to enjoy Now You See Me, however ...

I found Lacey unrealistic as a police officer; like the archetypical school boy who pulls the hair of the girl he actually likes, so Lacey is rude to/shows distaste of a fellow officer until, yeah, it turns out she actually loves him. As for the crimes and motives? Daft is the first word that comes to mind. And as for the Gay, beautiful Tulloch ... talk about stereotypical; that he is 'not entirely white' ... (shaking head incredulously) What!!!


If ever there was a book in which there were two principle characters The Cutting Crew is it. Nothing original about that you might be thinking but what if I were to tell you that, the narrative dominated by these two factors, the two principle characters were main protagonist, Martin, and the city (a city split into districts, each named after an animal no less), its geography and history? 

A slow starter, without a doubt. Confusing, yes. A poor internal dialogue to action ratio with way too much of the former and not enough of the latter for my liking, most definitely. Weird/offbeat, certainly. And yet, quirky and intriguing with more of what I thought a futuristic vibe than a Sci-fi one, oddly enough, I did kind of enjoy it.


What turned out to be the 11th book in the Kay Scarpetta series. It could be said that these are books best read in order and, yes, there is something in that as though able to be read as a standalone novel, there is obviously some back story lost in joining a well established story so far in though in all honesty I did feel there was sufficient that this wasn't a huge problem.

OK so strong in forensic and pathological detail, I'll give the author that, BUT ...

With the first half of the book given over to a therapy session, whilst I'm up for character's baring their deepest, darkest thoughts and fears, dear me, this was something else. That everyone seems to fall into one of two groups; those that adore Kaye, thinking her, well, the best thing since sliced bread, OR those who hate her mainly because they are jealous of her knowledge or good looks or both. Then there were all those descriptions (Oh! Those never ending descriptions) that seemed to serve no other purpose other than to fill up pages/make up the word count. And that just wasn't the descriptions either for much the same could be said of the endless pages of conversation between only two characters.

Whilst I can't say I'll never pick up another book in the series/another of the author's books if this is a prime example of her writing I can't say I'm impressed.


Kelly said...

Well.... I can't say I'm particularly tempted by any of these. There was a time when I loved the Patricia Cornwell books, but I finally had my fill of them when they veered too much to the melodrama of the characters' lives rather than sticking with good, solid crime stories. If I had to pick one of the four, it might be the first, based on its timeframe.

Literary Feline said...

I have enjoyed Sharon Bolton and Lynda Plante in the past, but have not read either of the books you've reviewed here. I did enjoy the books I did read by them. I long ago gave up reading Patricia Cornwell. I used to really like her books, but they lost their luster a long time ago. I think her writing has gone down hill too.

Brian Joseph said...

I need to delve into crime novels for a bit.

I probably will find some books that are a little less flawed

The city in The Cutting Crew sounds so interesting.

Mary (Bookfan) said...

I'm not sure I'll pick any of these up but I enjoyed your reviews. You have a gift!

nightwingsraven said...

I am not certain if I would enjoy
any of these four books. But thank
you for your excellent review(s).