Newest Review: ... was on the beach at the time of the murder, so we are left wondering who has framed this innocent women. Chase Tremain is Richard's e... more
Who is Guilty?
Presumed Guilty - Tess Gerritsen
Member Name: cha97mw
Presumed Guilty - Tess Gerritsen
Advantages: characterisation and location are so real, incredibly well plotted and written.
Disadvantages: less gore, but this was suitable in this book, though I wanted more.
After reading one of Tess Gerritsen's books from her Rizzoli and Isles series, I was looking forward to another tense gore fest with Presumed Guilty. The front cover shows a bloody knife sticking through material, so really, I don't think you can blame me for expecting it to be gory. So I was a little disappointed with this one when it wasn't matching my expectation.
Presumed Guilty is a 2009 from Gerritsen, a well established crime writer. The story is set in a small town in America, called Shepherd's Island. Richard Tremain, the newspaper editor in the town has just been murdered, and the chief suspect is his former lover, Miranda. Only, the reader knows from the start that Miranda was on the beach at the time of the murder, so we are left wondering who has framed this innocent women.
Chase Tremain is Richard's estranged brother, who has been called back to town by his sister in law in this time of need. He begins to doubt that Miranda is to blame for the murder, especially when he witnesses someone trying to kill her. Together they set about untangling the mystery, but with a few red herrings and a small town mentality, it is proving very difficult, especially when there seems to be danger wherever they go and someone is always a bit ahead of them.
The plot in this is beatifully written. As well as the well established main characters, there is strong characterisation of every person who has any role in this novel. In some ways it is exactly like living in a small place, where everyone knows everyone elses business. Here I think the author has done a fantastic job at bringing to life the events happening in a way that has you really caring about these characters and what outcome will occur.
The lack of gore while initially disappointing to me was actually appropriate for the context of the book. There are no forensic speciallists in this town, only a caricature of a police officer who is not really on the ball and a grumpy small town doctor who is counting days to retirement. The bloody murder is about as much drama as the town can take, so when other incidents like a hit and run and an arson attack occur, you feel the way the characters are starting to become a bit overwhelmed with events.
There are strong hints early on in which way the author might take the investigation, but all my best attempts at amateur policing were wrong, and I was fooled by all the red herrings that were thrown a bit too neatly into the plot line. Twists and turns are plentiful especially once the pace of the story picks up.
I felt that while this is very different from her style in the Rizzoli and Isles novels, I really did find this an addictive read. The emotional side of the characters was well explored, and I wanted to find out what would happen to them next.
This is cleverly written, and it will have appeal to anyone who like crime novels, and it is a gentler introduction to Gerritsen's style of intelligent writing. It is another novel I highly recommend.
Summary: A proper 'whodunnit' novel to get you thinking.