After having stared at volume four of the Charlie Zailer and Simon Waterhouse series for two years, I broke down and added to my TBR by ordering volume three. As the kind donor of book four and five said, it would be best to read them in order. I did – and gobbled down two tomes in two days while recovering after our church & family Easter.
Sophie Hannah, The Point of Rescue (2008)
Apparently a woman has killed her daughter and herself in an atrocius family annihilation. Simon Waterhouse is not so certain, however, even if the mother´s diary seems to confirm she hated her life as a little girl´s skivvy. And a woman in the neighbourhood receives a nasty shock when she sees the bereaved family father, Mark Bretherick. She had a brief affair with Mark Bretherick the year before, but the man on the TV screen is a complete stranger.
The Other Half Lives (2009)
A woman seeks out Charlie Zailer and tells her the amazing story about her fiancé who believes he killed someone years ago. The fiancé turns up with a similar story, but when the police visit the supposed scene of crime, his victim is very much alive.
Both these police procedurals offered intriguing plots with plenty of twists; the kind of mysterious labyrinths I cannot resist. But I wish Hannah would try to make the police force more credible. In The Point of Rescue it wasn´t too bad, but in The Other Half Lives the entire police force are so busy gossiping and squabbling like jealous schoolgirls that it is a mystery how they ever get any police work done. And even though Charlie and Simon aren´t much better with their volcanic relationship, they are apparently the only intelligent investigators of the whole bunch. Well, enough said, and I do find it a bit tiresome, but if you are like me, you will probably conclude that the plots make up for this flaw.
A Room Swept White (2010)
To prove my point I picked the fifth volume immediately. Probably a mistake, but I am fairly sure that no matter when I had read it, I would have been disappointed by the way Hannah handles the plot. Furthermore the battle between Simon Waterhouse and his superior, Proust, reaches new – ridiculous – levels in this book.
The very insecure TV producer Fliss Benson is thrown into the production of a documentary about women who have been tried or improsoned for murdering their own babies but later acquitted.
Despite the horrible theme, cot death or murder, I found this novel boring and disappointing. I didn´t like the plot or the slow progress, and all the characters seemed selfish and spiteful.