e a m harris

Roaming the byways of literature

Archive for the tag “crime novel”

30 Day Book Challenge – day 28: A book I wish I’d never read

Post-Mortem-HungarySome years ago I read a book by Patricia Cornwell. She has written several books about her fictional medical examiner, Dr Kay Scarpetta, and is popular with crime fiction readers.

I can’t now remember which of the books I read. It was certainly well written with a complex plot, active characters and convincing detail – all the things I usually love in a crime novel.

But I didn’t like this one. The detail was too much and too blood and guts for my taste; I really don’t want to know the ins and outs of post-mortems. Also the main character really annoyed me. She seemed to take offence at almost everything and to act illogically at important points in the plot.

Usually I’m willing to step far outside my reading comfort zone and have often been surprised at how rewarding it is. Not this time. Many people enjoy Ms Cornwell’s books, but they just aren’t for me, and I doubt if I’ll ever try another.

Scottish crime: ‘Cradle to Grave’ by Aline Templeton

I’ve just finished reading this novel and while it’s by no means perfect, I enjoyed it and found it gripping.

It’s set in a small town and surrounding countryside in Scotland and the author takes full advantage of the Scottish scenery and weather.

The story follows two main threads: the death (before the book starts) of a baby followed by the acquittal of the nanny accused of the crime, and the major international crime some of the suspects take part in.

Although there are several murders, most of the violence takes place offstage.

In addition several of the police people have private troubles to cope with.

There are quite a number of points of view, but they are well handled so it’s always clear whose eyes we see things through.

It’s an energetic mélange of action and speculation that holds the attention and saves a few unanswered questions right to the last page.

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