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==Synopsis of the book:==
Kate Kinsella is going through a tough time following the death of her boyfriend David. She is by profession a Private Investigator who receives help and support from her Landlord and friend Hubert, who runs his funeral business below their flats. Herbert decides that Kate needs to get away from everything and everyone so he books her into a retreat in the middle of nowhere called Peace Haven. However upon arrival to this rural retreat miles from anywhere she soon discovers there are things that he has not shared with her about this place and why she is there. This will not be the getting away from everything holiday she was expecting!!
When she meets the collection of unusual guests she realises this is a New Age therapy centre for those in need of support and protection. And immediately Kate feels like a prisoner miles from anywhere needing to ask permission to leave the complexes locked grounds. Here she meets Fran who shares her story as to why she is there and Kate immediately is fascinated by it and the lady herself. As Fran has recently been released from prison having served six years for killing her youngest child. And now she is staying because her one remaining friend believes she is in danger as threats are being sent to her that she will be killed once she leaves prison. Kate wants to find out more about this unusual lady and what forced her into such a desperate act all those years ago.
==My thoughts on the book:==
Overall I thought this was a good well written and always interesting Investigation novel. It admittedly is from an author I think writes good quite simplistic crime thrillers and this is the fourth and latest that I have read. The series written by Christine Green featuring Kate Kinsella has ten different stories with this one being first published in 2007 but the latest in the series. I found this an easy book to dip into but because it was such an interesting subject matter I needed to know how Kate would investigate what was happening around her and what really happened that night in the retreat.
For me this series to Private Investigations are very readable because they are not too deep or complicated. They are very easy to get into and well written so that you stay interested in what is happening and how the investigation will unfold. And despite not being particularly long this story certainly took some good and unexpected turns along its route. I found that despite this lack of depth the story was still fascinating and really ideal for a holiday or a read that is enjoyable but one that won't be too difficult or taxing to read.
For me part of the real joy of this series of books is the lead character Kate who must be the most down to earth Private Investigator there is. I find her so easy to like, respect and understand her actions. I really enjoy learning all about her and her unusual friendship with her Landlord Herbert. I like their very close and deep relationship and how when she is investigating a case he is doing the ground work in the background to support her. She is superb lead character as there is a lot of most of us in her and I really like the doubts she has about her capabilities. She really interacts well and I like her natural way of dealing with other suspects. For me it is sometimes her lack of professionalism that appeals that any of us could find ourself in a situation not dissimilar to hers.
This story unlike most in this series focuses on Kate's personal life as the story begins and only after about 50 pages does the real story become more obvious. Yes you could argue this is a long time before anything really happens, but I did not feel that way at all and the background and understanding Kate's emotions was important in the context of the story. Although to be truthful once the investigation began she rarely considered her dead boyfriend and that was unlike her being a sensitive and thoughtful lady. I thought the concept of this mysterious retreat was a good one and with all its unusual guests, although I did not at that stage know Fran would be the client she would work with as all the people at the retreat had a sense of mystery about them.
The story I found very interesting and it was written with a lot of sympathy and understanding. Although I did think when Kate started investigating a crime that was six years old and for which someone had been convicted that it was surprising that all those originally involved where so easy to find, not surprised by being asked questions and where all willing to help her. I just felt given what had happened most would not want to be reminded of it as it was shocking and very upsetting.
I felt the pace of the story was always good, as there was always mystery and suspense as it unfolded and I never had any idea what would happen next or who was responsible for the crime. And while I thought the ending was a little rushed and it would have been good to draw breath it was an exciting and cleverly written conclusion to what turned out to be a gripping story. Yes it would have been good to have a epilogue because I would dearly liked to know what happened next to particularly Fran but I guess now I can make my own decisions as to what happens next to all the main characters within the story..
I picked this book up at a carboot sale and it is only available in hardback version,which makes it very expensive. And with a list price of 18.99 this will be too costly for many, but second hand versions on Amazon can be picked up considerably cheaper or as I did at a car boot sale.
I thought this was a good well written crime story. Particularly because the lead character in the story is so down to earth and easy to like and relate to. These stories are not too complicated but full of suspense and mystery and very easy to enjoy, because they are intelligently written and your interest never wavers from the intriguing story line. My only real issue was I could not find a paperback version of it so it is quite expensive.
Thanks for reading my review.
This review is published under my name on both Ciao and Dooyoo
© CPTDANIELS December 2011.