2014: 47.  The Cradle in the Grave

"I met Helen Yardley once, that's all.  What do you want me to say about her? I thought you wanted to talk about me?"

The Cradle in the Grave, Sophie Hannah

Oh, Sophie Hannah.  I don't think I've blogged about Hannah before - I'm pretty sure I read her during my blog hiatus.  I was looking for a new mystery writer, and I bought of one her books, and read a few more.  And then I sort of stopped.  But my sister got hooked 'cause I lent her one, and I was at the library looking for something not too taxing, and I thought, why not.  And, once I read this I remembered 1) why I read four of her books in a week last year and 2) why I stopped.

The thing is, Sophie Hannah writes page turning mysteries.  You get started, and the situations are fascinating - here, we are reading about three women who were accused of murdering their infants (due largely to the testimony of the same expert witness) and then were all acquitted or set free (due largely to the activisim of one man).  And then one of the woman is murdered, with a mysterious card on her pocket.  And the others get the card in the mail, and oooooh, what is going on.  And omg, you legitmately want to find out what is going on - are these women actually innocent? Are they guilty? Did they do it? Is the expert crazy? I couldn't put it down until I found out.

BUT, and this is a common theme in the Hannah books, the characters are CRAZY.  They do not act like any human beings I have ever met.  One character (a documentary filmmaker making a movie about the women) is threatened by the serial killer, and still refuses to talk to the police.  That makes NO sense - at least, Hannah didn't convince me that it did for this character.  And, oh, her cops - the recurring characters, Zailer and Waterhouse are so, so weird.  They do not act like any humans I have ever met, ever.  So, if you like mysteries and can over look bonkers unnatural characters, you'll like these.  But if you prefer your detectives (and witnesses, and victims, etc.) to seem realistic, this might just drive you nuts.


© Carrie Dunsmore 2017