This book starts with a description of the killing. This is not uncommon; I suppose it provides a 'hook' to grab the reader's attention on the very first page so that they know what they are buying and want to know more. The problem is that it instantly gives away some details about the killer. We know, for example, that he is male. More seriously, we know that he doesn't know the victim. I find this a problem. It means that many of the people that the police subsequently interview, such as the girl she works with in the cafe and the male cafe owner cannot be suspects.
As such this is more of a crime thriller than a murder mystery.
The characters are swiftly sketched. They often seem to be stereotypes. There is a slightly clunky bit towards the end in which Geraldine's potential love interest asks her about herself ("You could start by telling me about your family") allowing the author to outline Geraldine's back story. This reminded me of those opening scenes in some Shakespeare plays in which two citizens in the street update one another on the context for the story that is about to be told.
Some of my favourite lines
- "However hard it might be, life was precious."
- "He spent his working week selling cars. Now he was selling his innocence."
- "He was like David who beat a giant even though he had his arm in a sling. He had a sling once but it never made him strong. And it never helped him fight anyone."
- "They published their questions without bothering to look for an answer"
- "Without thinking she raised her hand and smoothed the lines on her forehead, making a mental note to avoid frowning. And smiling. And raising her eyebrows."
- "Glamorous figures smiled up from the covers, mocking the squalor around them."
This is a typical example of the genre.