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Loving Memory - Gerald Hammond

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Genre: Crime / Thriller / Author: Gerald Hammond / Edition: Large type edition / Hardcover / 315 Pages / Book is published 2008-11 by Severn House Large Print Books

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      17.11.2009 18:10
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      Poor example of a crime thriller

      ==Synopsis of the book:==

      Detective Inspector Honey Laird is on maternity leave looking after her month old baby and Labrador. When her neighbour Kate who has been burgled asks her to try and recover a digital camera that has sexy pictures of the lady with her lover. She is desperate to recover this before he husband finds out or she is plastered all over the Internet. Honey agrees to see what she can do for her.

      Very quickly the memory card containing the pictures is discovered and Honey checks them out of curiosity. The pictures have been added to and include a few of a young coloured girl and one with looking dead covered in blood. Honey starts to look into it in an unofficial way and quickly discovers where the girl was staying at a hostel, who only know she has disappeared. There Honey finds a document telling the girl's life story, that she hopes will lead to her finding the body and hopefully who has hurt or killed her.

      ==My thoughts on the novel:==

      My overall opinion is this was a very poor crime thriller. On the positive side I thought the stories concept was clever. Although I found it very difficult to like or even relate to the main characters within it. There was also something in the authors writing that made me never take to or enjoy what I was reading. I think it was that I found the whole story totally unbelievable.

      This is the second novel I have read from this author, previously having read 'Hit and Run'. I still am completed shocked that Gerald Hammond has written 70 books. The reason this shocks me is in the two stories I have so far read by him, I have not taken to his style. Not only that both I have struggled not only to get through to the end but also to find believable and credible. Especially as this is one of his latest offerings having been written in 2007, it worries me about his earlier books. As I was always led to believe that writers generally get better the longer they write.

      When I was in the library recently I was conscious that I had read only one novel by this author and I do not think it is far to judge an author on one book alone, so I looked for another. I selected this one because of two other reasons, the first of which was the novels title. I thought it sounded interesting and I had incorrect visions of the death of a close family member and it being investigated. This lasted until I the second reason for choosing it the summary on the inside cover. This sounded good and I liked the idea of Honey helping this flighty neighbour and discovering something far more sinister.

      At this point I was really looking forward to reading the book, but was soon disappointed when I started as I found I could not get into it and found the star of the story Honey very difficult to relate to. She is a successful wealthy mother, who seemed to have help with everything in her life, from a full time Nanny to a wealthy father who could supply anything she needed at the drop of a hat.

      The story for me was at its best when the young coloured girl was telling her story. It was many pages long and fascinating. This got Honey involved in the case and from there the story for me lacked depth and credibility. As because of the very confidential nature of the investigation and the suspected involvement of an MP, Honey could not simply have a team looking for the truth, it was strictly a need to know basis. This for me made it difficult to follow what was happening especially at it involved other senior officers from other forces.

      The further the story unfolded the harder I found it to take seriously. As all the action centred around Honey and she was able to take on any situation and solve them. I continued to read in the hope suddenly it would all make perfect sense and the story would all come together and become enjoyable.

      Even the concluding chapter I found odd. Honey was in the thick of it and instead of having an organised logical finish with everything being successfully tidied up I got a very rushed conclusion that really disappointed me. Yes there was a degree of excitement and suspense but I thought it would have been far better to expand it and work methodically through to the end.

      Not only did I struggle with getting to grips with Honey's character but I also struggled with all the other characters in the story with one exception. Most of these characters were weakly described and there was little about them that I could remember in terms of distinguishing features and nothing about their private lives to enjoy. The exception was the coloured girl herself, who I found fascinating I enjoyed the way she wrote about things in her letters that Honey found and thought without them the book, would have been very sad.

      The book for me was mercilessly nice and short at just 185 pages. Lacking much to inspire me, usually even if I don't enjoy the book I can at least appreciate the writers scene setting and style of writing, in this case I was not even able to do that.

      When I have researched this novel, I can only find it available in hardback format and I'm sorry to say I think this is a waste of money as the cheapest I could find was £15 for it.

      ==Conclusion:==

      In my opinion this was a very poor example of a crime thriller. Yes I liked the author's original concepts, but I found it was written very simplistically and I could not relate to either it or the characters within it. I am afraid to say I will not be trying another thriller from this author as it lacked believability and credibility because of the lack of depth throughout the story.

      Thanks for reading my review.

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

      @CPTDANIELS November 2009.

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