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Dead Centre - Claire Lorrimer

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Genre: Crime / Thriller / Author: Claire Lorrimer / Edition: World / Hardcover / 192 Pages / Book is published 2004-11 by Severn House Publishers Ltd

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      08.06.2009 17:50
      Very helpful





      A friend who knows I really enjoy reading a good thriller recommended this author to me. So when I was at the local Car Boot sale last week I purposely was looking for this author's work and fortunately I found this one, amongst hundreds of others. On the positive side it only cost me 20p so I couldn't really go wrong, even if I didn't like it I could re-sale it at next months Car Boot sale.

      ==About the author:==

      Claire Lorrimer was born in Sussex in 1921. She began her writing career at just 10 years old, but had to wait until the Second World War to become an established writer. In those days she wrote Historical fiction but since then she has moved on to write crime fiction as well. She has written 33 novels plus three separate series involving another nine books. She still writes today despite her advancing years.

      ==Synopsis of the book:==

      One of the young and attractive Matheson twins Poppy is attacked on the way home from a Golf function on the 5th Green. She is about to be raped by a member of the Club, Gordon Rivers when her twin Rose strikes and kills him with her golf club. The girls then run off and try and forget about the horrific incident.

      The body is discovered by the Hotel's Manageress Deborah Cahill when walking her dog later that night. She is desperate that no scandal is attached to the Golf Club, so she and the owner of the Hotel take the body to the hospital. When the Police question them they say they found the body on the main road near the Club.

      The ensuring investigation is fruitless, with no witnesses and no apparent motive for the crime; the Police assume it is a hit and run accident. However, the twins are overheard discussing the murder in the locker room by Betty Russell some rime afterwards. She tells her husband Barry who tells her not to tell the Police. This sets of a chain of events that will affect the whole Golf Club and those involved in it in murder, mystery and intrigue.

      ==My thoughts on the book:==

      I must admit I did enjoy reading this novel. I found it well thought out and certainly very different from what I was expecting. It was a good mystery that leads the reader down an avenue you would not expect, certainly when you read the summary of it. As a result of this at no time did I really know where the author was taking me but I enjoyed the trip.

      Having never heard or indeed read any of this authors books I really wasn't sure what to expect and I must admit I was pleasantly surprised and impressed by her work. I found the story well thought out, good characters and a surprising but very interesting plot.

      Although this book is set round a Golf Club and deals with people who are Golf fanatics, I didn't find this a barrier to me enjoying it. As I am not a golf fan and do not really understand the game and its terms. There was golf chat but it was quite light and anyway there was always enough going on elsewhere to not ruin my enjoyment of the book. For a golf fan who likes thrillers this would probably be heaven!

      I must admit when I picked up the book I was not convinced at all that I would enjoy it. I love a good crime thriller, but I don't like golf. So when I read the introductory summary on this inside cover I was looking for more information about the novel. It sounded to me more than a golfing book but I liked the concept the author explained.

      The odd thing about this summary is it is not actually correct in one detail. This I only realised once I had completed the book, but I found it an amazing oversight on behalf of all those involved in the Publication of it. I will not explain it here but once you have read it you will understand what I mean.

      Despite all this I dipped into the book and before long Poppy was attacked. Initially I found the books main characters the Matheson twins' quite annoying and lacking depth. I found them a little too perfect being young, very attractive, intelligent and very rich not surprisingly I found it hard to relate to them.

      Luckily for me I kept at it and I found the story was well thought out and interesting in where it took us. You always knew what was going to happen because the story followed several of the key characters, presenting their thoughts and their points of view, so you always knew who was doing what to whom, but you had no idea of the outcomes of this.

      This certainly did not impede my enjoyment and I enjoyed the refreshing change. I could easily understand why the Police where baffled by the chain of events that seemed unconnected in any way. By a group of people who led them purposely in the wrong direction with little to help them back on track with it and seemingly no motives.

      I really enjoyed the unusual story. I found the author was very good at getting the reader into the mind of the killer so you could understand exactly why they did what they did and how they managed to cover their tracks behind them.

      The ending of the book was fast paced and exciting but for me ultimately disappointing. Not because of the writers work but because of the outcome, I expected something different to follow the concept of the book itself. I like everything taken care of and all the loose ends tidied up and for my money the author did not do this in a satisfactory way.

      I have talked a little about the novels lead characters the Matheson Twins. To be honest their characters and sensitivity did grow on me as the story progressed, but I did feel they were quite dull and lifeless and lacking depth in their personalities, maybe the author had not researched them enough. Luckily there were many other characters that were far better for me to concentrate on.

      They were more interesting as they were more diverse with secrets waiting to be revealed and consciences waiting to be pricked. I found it unusual that the investigating Police officers played such a small role throughout the book, but it too made a nice change. I didn't want to know about their difficult or sad home lives and it was refreshing that it wasn't shared with the reader on this occasion.

      I found the book very easy to read, the authors descriptions where crisp, short and to the point. As a result I felt her depth and writing skill was not as good as some authors in the market place and this for me was disappointing. But it did make for an easy to read and relaxed novel that I found I enjoyed as a result. I think it goes to prove a good story is a good story regardless.

      The book was a little on the short side for me and I felt the ending could easily have been expanded. It all seemed to end quite abruptly, but everything made sense. I would just have liked more mystery and suspense about it.

      I completed the book in two long sessions over the weekend and found it always interesting and once I picked it up it was hard to put down again.

      I was surprised when I researched the book on sites that sell it. It is only available currently in Hardback, which makes it quite expensive, so maybe the best bet is to buy it like me second hand at a Charity Shop or a Car Boot Sale.


      I would on balance recommend this as a well thought out, unusual but still very interesting crime novel. I enjoyed the author's simplistic and straightforward style of writing even if I felt her lead characters did lack depth. I will certainly be trying another book from this author in the not to distant future as I found her style and ideas appealing.

      ==Other information:==

      Pages: 184
      Publisher: Severn House
      Price: £13.19 (New Amazon)
      ISBN: 0-7278-6203-0
      About the author: www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/l/claire-lorrimer
      Year of Publication: 2005

      Thanks for reading my review.

      This review is published on both Ciao and Dooyoo under my user name.

      @CPTDANIELS June 2009


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