My guest blogger today comes all the way from the UK! Tom Dale writes a review here of award-winning author Lesley Thomson's newest crime/mystery novel. Many novels, including this one, are available through Sainsbury's Ebooks. You ought to look up both Lesley and Sainsbury's - they both offer some very interesting reading.
Review by Tom Dale
The 2010 People’s Book Prize winner (A Kind of Vanishing), Lesley Thomson, returns with her next crime/mystery novel, The Detective’s Daughter. The gripping and elusive style of the prize winning A Kind of Vanishing, is present again and makes for an intense, page-turning read. Ian Rankin has given his endorsement to this little known British author and from The Detective’s Daughter, you can see why.
The Detective’s Daughter is the story of Stella Darnell, whose father was a detective assigned to an unsolved murder case when Stella was a child. Her father’s obsession with the case left her neglected and resentful of the deceased victim, Kate Rokesmith, for stealing the attention of her father.
Years later, following the untimely death of her father, Stella is thrust into the mystery of his unsolved case after opening the veritable Pandora’s Box of the Rokesmith case files. Stella forges a strong relationship with an employee at her company, Jack, and invites him into the folds of the case. Then, when an all too coincidental murder occurs in Stella’s own life, her resolve to solve the mystery is enforced.
This is a crime novel which bucks genre trends. It has a deep engagement with the emotions of the protagonist, Stella, and her fractured relationship with her father; feelings of loneliness and isolation are confronted and portrayed with a haunting realism. Also explored is the relationship between childhood experience and our nature as an adult, both positive and negative. Mystery fans, do not despair, though, as it does retain the classic tropes of a crime/mystery/thriller such as dramatic twists and gripping, page turning plot developments. Thomson also avoids the pitfalls of the genre; there are no loose ends, unlike so many crime novels - you do not spend time lamenting any unfinished business and plot holes.
Overall this is a very enjoyable read and one which keeps the pages turning. It has all the suspense and plot twists we would expect but also has heart. As a reader, your relationship with Stella’s character develops well alongside the storyline and you sympathise and become endeared to her nature. The exploration of parent child relationships and the complex emotions that come with the loss of a parent are dealt with very well and this makes the read all the more engaging. The characters have a great deal to offer and, coupled with the gripping storyline, make for a real page-turner.
The Detective’s Daughter is currently available from Sainsbury's eBooks. Just click on the title!