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No More Victims - Natasha Cooper

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Genre: Crime / Thriller / Author: Natasha Cooper / Paperback / 160 Pages / Book is published 2008-10-22 by Barrington Stoke

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      15.06.2011 17:45
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      Disappointing story

      ==Synopsis of the book:==

      David Jackson an eleven-year-old boy is found stabbed by his thug of a father Terry outside their high-rise apartment block. The boy sadly dies from his injury and immediately his father is the prime suspect because he is known to use his fists on his wife Maxine and his very volatile temperament. DS Jim Smith is immediately brought in to try and solve this mystery.

      He interviews Candy the mother of Adam one of David's school friends. She believes she knows who has done it, but is worried about Adam because he and his other friend Mike have been suffering at the hands of some bullies at their school and without a father figure she must provide all the love and support in his life. She wants to protect Maxine from Terry but how far will she go to do this?

      ==My thoughts on this novel:==

      I thought this was a disappointing mystery overall. The reason I selected this one was because I wanted a short read that I could enjoy on a long train journey. I must admit I have not read such a short piece of fiction in a long time as this one was only 119 pages long and I found because of the well spread out words and the gaps between paragraphs and chapters it did not take long but it's style was always appealing and made me want to read on.

      For me that was part of the problem, the story was just far too short. As a result there was no time to produce a fascinating and deep story that the reader could get into. Yes the message was simple about bullies, violence and knives, that in itself is thought provoking especially with the background to the story, but because it was so short there was no real time to really understand and get to know the characters.

      The concept behind the story was interesting one and one that I found good. It certainly had the potential for a fascinating story but it never really materialised. I kept expecting something unusual or a twist in the tale but it was all a bit mundane and dull. Indeed I even questioned DS Smith's approach on this investigation not in the business sense but with his Private involvement in the case.

      I really would have liked to see more depth in many respects to the story. Firstly Candy was the lead character and I did not feel I knew enough about her, her life and her inner most thoughts. Yes there were very limited descriptions but she was a women who I didn't think acted with any consistency and I think the reason for this was the author had not put enough thought into her personality. I cannot say to much as I do not want to give anymore away then I already have. Even the support characters while on paper seemed quite intriguing we were never allowed to get to know or understand them.

      Secondly, the story could have easily have been more complex and incorporated a different array of ideas, this would have made me think more and enjoy the story more. I don't think I have read a simpler and more straight forward piece of fiction in a long while, indeed I even wondered if it was not a Children's book I had picked up by mistake such was it's lack of challenge.

      On a positive note I did find I had finished it within a couple of hours and it did pass some of the journey for me. I am intrigued though by this author as I cannot believe this is a fair representation of her work. Admittedly it was my first experience of her writing and that can sometimes be a drawback but for me this novel didn't just lack something it lacked everything.

      The death of any Child is always tragic especially when it is so unnecessary with a knife. But I felt the author really missed an opportunity by showing all the implications of this. Not only that I thought there was a lack of emotion displayed by the characters and it seemed like it had been the death of someone they vaguely knew, rather than a son or a school friend.

      Even the solution to the death seemed quite obvious, but then I do spend all my time reading crime novels!!

      The author in a touch I appreciated before the story began did explain a little of her thought pattern when approaching the writing of the story. This I found interesting and I could as a result understand what he was aiming at, I just think she should have made it longer and more involved.

      I feel I must read another of her 15 books because quite frankly they must have more depth and substance about them otherwise I am sure she would not have got a Published and I do not believe this can be a far representation of her work. Especially was she this English author has also been Chairman of the Crime Writers Association.


      ==Conclusion:==

      Certainly this was an interesting experiment but ultimately a disappointing one. The story was just far too short and it lacked depth so that there was no real substance to it. Yes I knew what the over riding message the story was sending out and it was an important one, I just thought it could have been made a longer more thought proving read.

      Thanks for reading my review.

      © CPTDANIELS June 2011

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