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  • By Sally-Ann Wilding
    Oct 15, 2009
    "A SUITABLE ENDING" Review by Vanessa Rogers (MA) – November 2003 If there is such a thing as a gentle murder mystery then this is it! The violent happenings are cleverly offset by the author’s beautifully drawn descriptions of the Derbyshire countryside that lull the reader into a false sense of security that nothing terrible is going to happen in the sleepy village of Carlton. How wrong can you be! This is a book where nothing is as it seems and even the most mild looking villager has a secret to keep. Central to the plot is the hero, Mark Jordan, who is everything that a good hero should be. Good looking and intelligent he escapes being too predictable by displaying a dogged curiosity in other people’s business and occasional bursts of bad temper that make him human. Mark is a crime fiction writer who is experiencing writer’s block and in need of a well deserved rest to try and recoup his inspiration when he enters Carlton. A city boy from London, he is immediately... More > charmed by the country people he meets and the beauty of the surroundings he finds himself in, certain he will find the peace he needs to re-charge his batteries and return to inspiration. A typical village: church, school, pub, shop and village green for the action to take place around, and Mark soon sets out to explore. The locals are friendly enough until he begins to ask too many questions, which make several people behave strangely and become very economical with the information they give out, which intrigues Mark further! As an outsider with a passion for mysteries he is well placed to stir the village up and his experience of crime solving is put to the test during his short holiday where he at least expects to find the basis of his next book. My favourite character in the book is the irascible Maude Brandon. A retired schoolteacher who dislikes strangers asking questions, she is the ideal foil for Mark’s incessant quest to find out what is going on. Entering the story as fairly dislikeable, Maude’s developing relationship with Mark is well written and drives the plot forwards. She is the link between the newcomers and the village and offers Mark an insight into the past and the history surrounding the child murder. Braver and stronger than Susan she is the perfect co-detective. The action is divided into two clear sections. The author does make sure that these are dated so that the reader is in no doubt what is happening and when, but I still found I had to refer backwards and forwards to make sure I had got it right. This is particularly so as the plot twists and much of it is retrospective. I find it quite a challenge to start the second part, not because I wasn’t enjoying the book, but because the pace and tempo slows down so dramatically that is takes a few pages to return to the every day after the strange and frightening climax of the first. The final conclusion of the second part is as dramatic as the first and finally resolves all outstanding questions from both parts and every character is tested and pushed to their limits. In conclusion this is a good, well-written detective story that will appeal to readers who enjoy a good murder mystery. The plot is complicated and contains unusual elements that make it memorable. However, it is not the plot that makes this book enjoyable to read so much as the great characters Ms Wilding has developed. Individual, interesting and believable it is the relationships that have with each other that drives the plot along to its final twist.< Less
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Product Details

ISBN
9781409214618
Edition
Second Edition
Publisher
Sally-Ann Wilding
Published
July 11, 2008
Language
English
Pages
290
Binding
Perfect-bound Paperback
Interior Ink
Black & white
Weight
1.09 lbs.
Dimensions (inches)
5.83 wide x 8.26 tall
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