==Synopsis of the book:==
Jakob Grimshaw has never been a popular or liked man. His wife left him many years ago for or so rumour has it for another man and his daughter visits him very in-fluently. He has always been a farmer in Staffordshire and it help make ends meet he has sold land over the past few years for a new Housing Estate on this land. These houses have now been up five years and the only blot on their landscape is the close, noisy and smelly proximity they are to this run down farm. This makes this man unpopular with the new locals especially as he has no intention of selling up in changing his ways in any way, shape or form.
However after a week where the smell from the farm was awful and getting worse, one of the locals Kathleen Weston decides to find out what it is. She has been surprised because the farm is unusually silent even the farmers faithfully hound is quiet. She quickly finds the farmers body by the boundary wall, having been struck by the cope stones. He has been dead for days by the look of it and Kathleen quickly reports it to the Police.
DI Joanna Piercy meanwhile is enjoying the last day of her holiday. All to soon she will be back under pressure to discover the truth to what happened to this bitter and sneaky man who has many secrets as do all those involved in the investigation that follows it. Can DI Percy and her team get to the bottom of this case and find out how and why this farmer was murdered?
==My thoughts of this novel:==
On the whole I am really undecided as to whether I enjoyed this crime thriller or not. There were several features about it that I enjoyed but by the same token there were others I did not. On balance I would have to say there are far better Detective Investigations on the market and this was not a particularly great or different one.
Maybe part of my problem with this book was that I have never read any stories by this author before. For me that usually makes a difference because as we all know every author has their own style and way to telling a story. Especially when Priscilla Masters the author has already written eight stories in the series before this one and now one after it. And while for me each book should be independent and fresh in itself I did not feel this was the case on this occasion. My reason for saying this was the story did especially in the first 50 pages did refer to things that had happened previously and I felt in doing so that I had missed something.
Priscilla Masters is an English author who started her writing career in 1987 when she had published a Children's story. In a successful career so far she has written 21 books. As well as writing Children's stories and Crime fiction she has also written Medical mysteries. In addition to being an author she is also a part time practice nurse. The story I am reviewing is ninth in the series featuring Joanna Piercy and was first published in 2009.
I discovered this book at a car boot sale. It was on sale for just 50p which I thought was a great price considering it was a hard back version I was purchasing. Th first thing I noticed was the picture on the cover of what appeared to be a grubby looking farm. It looked interesting and I also approved of the title which again sounded interesting, it certainly gave the book a sinister and mysterious feel to it. So I went in search on the summary of the story but instead found praise for the author on the back cover. This I found of new practical use as all it was was various magazines, an author and a paper praising her work in general. No use to someone about to read this book I think.
However when I found the summary on the inside cover of the book I was very impressed by it. It was a very god size and set the scene to the investigation excellently. This really sold the book to me as once I read it I could not wait to get the book home and start on it. It told the reader about the unusual Jakob Grimshaw and how he had managed to upset all the local people in the past and now his body was discovered on the boundary on his own land.
As soon as I started reading the story I was immediately impressed by the style of writing the author employed. She began by setting the scene introducing the reader to the suspects within the story, plus telling the reader about new developments for DI Joanna Piercy while she was on holiday. While I did like this start to the story I felt it went on too long for me 50 pages was too much and I found myself getting confused who was who amongst the houses backing on to the farm. Added to which the first chapter seemed never ending!! In truth it was only 39 pages long but that for me was too long as I like frequent breaks and need to feel I am getting somewhere when I read a book, as a result of this initially anyway I did not feel I was.
Despite this I did start to enjoy the story. I found the lead character DI Piercy easy to like and relate too. I enjoyed the way the investigation was conducted and I liked a lot of the concepts the author developed in the story. I liked the way the deeper in the story you read the more suspects were identified and the new and different twists that were revealed. Some of which were very clever and in most cases they were unexpected which added to the mystery within the story.
The story was intelligently told and I certainly as it developed have a clue who was the guilty party. Although something did concern me, that when DI Piercy seemed to conduct very quick and specific interviews with suspects and witnesses. As a result they had to keep coming back to interview some of them. I found this quite unlikely and felt it made them look unprofessional plus it upset and witnesses being questioned on several occasions. It wasted time and would have annoyed me to be asked one of two additional questions each time.
I did enjoy the conclusion to the story this was of a good pace and quite exciting. It was certainly different to what I expected but when it was all explained at the end it all made sense. For me it was a fitting end to a well thought out and executed story. Although I would have liked an epilogue not because the story was explained properly I just would like to know what happened next in DI Piercy personal life as the story left it at such an interesting place.
DI Joanna Piercy was the story and the series leading and main character. I found her a very likeable and interesting character. She is a good Detective and I especially liked the exciting and interesting things that were happening in her personal life. As I thought the author got the split between the Investigation and her private life exactly right. I liked her style when investigating and the way she shared her thoughts and feelings with the reader and her team. She was supported by several good support characters who in the main had interesting personalities which helped the reader remember them and some of their different attributes.
For me the stories length was about right to tell an interesting and well thought out story. And while I struggled over the length of the first chapter the remaining 14 were evenly spread and not nearly as long as this first one. It was a story rich is suspense because all the neighbours to the farmer seemed to have good motives for wanting him out of the way and improving their own lives.
Despite thinking hard about this as I wrote my review I am still undecided as to whether I would recommend this book. I liked the general feel of the story and the unexpected twists the author employed on the positive side. But on the other side I felt the start of the story was a little slow spending the first 50 pages setting the scene and talking about things that had happened previously to the leading character. It made me think I had missed something and I was reading correctly as it turned out a later story in the series.
Price: 16.99 New at Amazon
Publisher: Allison & Busby
More about the author: www.joannapiercy.com
Year first published: 2009
Thanks for reading my review.
This review is published under my user name on both Ciao and Dooyoo.
© CPTDANIELS October 2012.