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I was looking for something different for my book this week. An author within the crime field that I had not tried before. When I came across this book I decided it was worth a try and I remember a friend had mentioned her work to me. Chris Collett has written five novels in her Publishing career, all with the lead character of DI Tom Mariner, this one being published in 2007.
==Synopsis of the book:==
DI Mariner is planning some time off; his Girlfriend Anna is keen for them to start again in the country having recently suffered a miscarriage. The holiday with some friends is supposed to be a chance for them to see what life is like and if they like it. However just as he is about to leave the Station a report comes in that a six-week-old baby has been abducted from a nursery. So he immediately rushes over to find out exactly what has happened.
They quickly discover the baby Jessica was taken a few hours before when an unknown lady was let into the Crèche and coolly picked up the baby and disappeared. The crime was only found when Emma her Mum arrived at the Nursery only to find the baby was no longer there. Mariner now must try and solve this case and find out why this baby has been taken. As very soon they discover Jessica father has recently separated from his bitter ex-wife and he works for a scientific research company that have been targeted by Animal Rights activists. However a couple of days later this case is brought to a quick solution but this is only the start of Mariner's problems.
==My thoughts on this novel:==
I was very impressed with this Detective novel; it was a fascinating well thought out story that really had impact and purpose behind it. Usually I struggle with a new author, it takes a book or two for me to get on the same wavelength as them but I found I immediately liked her style and really could relate to her key characters in the story. But while I have said this I still thought there were a few aspects of the novel that could have been improved.
The first thing I noticed about the book was it's title, which I thought was a really good one because it set my imagination working and set up many possibilities as to what it was all about. So I turned the book over to see the two-paragraph summary. This I found very interesting and gave a lot of information away about the story and having now read the story I feel it gave too much away about what was going to happen. I say this because some of the elements were not seen till well over half of the way through the book, which to me is sharing too much.
Although when I started reading I was initially surprised because it began by telling the story of some Albanian teenagers tricked into prostitution and the Police operation to catch the men that ran this ring. It did give me an introduction to Tom Mariner and his team, plus a little background of their personal life, but it was an unexpected start none the less given the summary I had just read. But I thought it was obvious that just as the Detective was planning to leave for his holiday that this urgent call would come in and ruin his plans as it always does in films.
When the real story of the abduction started I was immediately fascinated in it. I think part of this was because of the subject matter and the mystery surrounding it. It was well written and there seemed many possibilities as to why this had happened. I found I liked the direction the story took and at no time did I know which direction the story was going to take next. This author clearly has a good imagination and I was impressed by the unexpected turn of events that seemed to litter the story.
What really surprised and appealed to me was the depth the author used in the Detectives private lives. She did this in the quieter parts of the story, so that you did not feel you were missing the action. It was enjoyable because key events where happening in the two key investigating officers lives and it wasn't for once all doom and gloom there was the odd good thing happening to them too. Usually writers will write a page or two to complete a chapter about their home lives but this author would share up to ten pages at a time, which I thought was excellent.
Although as the story developed I get a sense that the author was not as sensitive as I would have expected. I will not go into too many details as much of this is in the concluding chapter of the story, but the Albanian girls who had been forced into prostitution I thought their feelings and what they had been subjected to was glossed over, as if they would quickly recover from the trauma. I just felt in this and a couple of other ways the author lacked sensitivity.
This is part was made up for by the way the story developed. At no time did I realise the answer to this thriller and as a result I was always on tender hooks as to what would happen next. The pace was always good and despite a fair amount of personal information I was always fascinated by what I was reading and what was happening.
With a concluding chapter that was well thought out and successfully answered all my questions and made me think it was all excellently planned. The only negative was I would have liked a little extra about the Detectives private lives as it seemed a little quick and rushed which was in contrast to what had proceeded it.
DI Mariner is the lead character in all these novels. I found him a likeable character and one who is easy to understand. I liked the concept behind him thinking of starting a new life and the doubts and worries both him and Anna had about this. He was the sort of character I was keen to know all about and I liked the fact that for a change in Detective novels that he got on well with his boss. I thought the author really knew and understood him and this came throw throughout the story.
He was supported my many interesting and well thought out characters. The detail on these was great and it really gave you a chance to get to know them and how they were thinking. And although characters like Katarina may only appear in this one story I felt a bond and always wanted to know more about her and what happens next to her in her life.
I thought the story was well written throughout and it was about the right length to tell a fascinating yarn. I certainly will be looking to read another from this series, as I really like this author style and ideas. With mystery and suspense to enjoy that left you on the edge of your seat from start to finish. I found this a very easy book to pick up, read and enjoy that I had completed over a weekend and enjoyed every minute of it.
For me this was an excellent Detective novel and one I would definitely recommend. I don't think it was just the eye-catching storyline that did it, for me this was down to a fascinating story, with interesting characters and a twisting storyline that you never knew where it was leading. I will be trying another from this series in the next few weeks to compare it against this one.
Price: £4.93 New at Amazon
Publisher: Piatkus Publishing
ISBN-13: 978- 0749939076
About the author: www.eurocrime.co.uk/books/books_by_chris_collett.html
Thanks for reading my review.
This review is published under my user name on both Ciao and Dooyoo
© CPTDANIELS September 2011.