Made for TV!
This is the first Robin Peacock book I’ve read, and as soon as I finished it I went online to buy the next in the series. That’s how much I enjoyed it. And yet, I’m giving it only three stars. I debated that in my head because I really wanted to give it four but, in the end, I decided that there were two factors that meant I couldn’t. (Five was out of the question, because that is only for exceptional books, and three stars, at least as far as I’m concerned, means, “I enjoyed this book and I recommend it). The two factors were: the lack of proofreading – or, at least, inadequate proofreading; and a little twist which I’ll describe like this. There’s a plot device common to crime fiction in which the suspect says something and the detectives miss it at the time. It’s a good device, because it’s a lot better than what we see increasingly now in crime fiction when the crime is solved and the criminal identified as a result of a piece of information that we as readers never had. That’s cheating, and Robin Peacock does not cheat. There are two problems with the device in this book: the first was that I noticed it immediately, thought, “Why haven’t they picked that up?” and realised that this would be key in unravelling the mystery. That’s fine – but it was only after I finished the book that it came to me that the whole point of what the suspect had said was that only the murderer could have known it – but the suspect was not the murderer!
In the great scheme of things, it doesn’t really matter, because you don’t notice that sort of error in a TV programme and the whole point of this book is that it is itching to be adapted for television. If Robin Peacock gets the breaks he deserves (yes, Robin Peacock is a man), then Detective Superintendent Veronica Reason could become as popular on the box as Vera. The characters are real and you believe in them; the same goes for the events. It’s just a pity that the proofreading lets the book down – it isn’t so obvious early on, but by the end the errors are far too frequent.
Nevertheless, I’m delighted to have discovered Robin Peacock and to have become a fan. I shall devour the rest of the books.