Welcome! Log in or Register

The Corpse at the Haworth Tandoori - Robert Barnard

  • image
1 Review

Author: Robert Barnard / Genre: Crime / Thriller

  • Sort by:

    * Prices may differ from that shown

  • Write a review >
    How do you rate the product overall? Rate it out of five by clicking on one of the hearts.
    What are the advantages and disadvantages? Use up to 10 bullet points.
    Write your reviews in your own words. 250 to 500 words
    Number of words:
    Write a concise and readable conclusion. The conclusion is also the title of the review.
    Number of words:
    Write your email adress here Write your email adress

    Your dooyooMiles Miles

    1 Review
    Sort by:
    • More +
      18.01.2006 14:20
      Very helpful
      (Rating)
      7 Comments

      Advantages

      Disadvantages

      A "naan" too convincing murder mystery

      When the body of a young man is found behind an Indian restaurant, Inspector Charlie Peace and Detective Superintendent Mike Oddie focus their investigation on a small rural community centred round the eminent artist Ranulph Wyatt where the victim was said to be working as a handyman.

      What follows is a traditional whodunit by which I mean the outcome is reached by police footwork, questioning of witnesses and hypothesis on the part of the detectives, rather than as a result of forensics or psychologoical profiling. There are some clues to the identity of the killer but I felt overall that the ending was rushed and unsatisfactory.

      Given that the two detectives appear in a series of Robert Barnard novels I found them more than a little disappointing. Charlie Peace is a black officer, recently arrived from London; that he is black is mentioned several times during the course of the book, somewhat gratuitously in my opinion. The book was published in 1999 – would the sight of a black person really be such a remarkable sight in rural West Yorkshire then (think about how close to places like Huddersfield, Leeds and Bradford this is!)? It struck me that little things like this were intended to provide a modern, gritty aspect to the story but had no real basis.

      There is no special chemistry between the two policemen although this could have the advantage of making each novel from the series work well as a “stand alone”. I have not read any of the others but I did not feel I was missing an integral part of the story.

      The other characters – or caricatures, as is more appropriate – seemed laboured and over the top, the literary equivalent of a hamming actor and as a result the dialogue suffered too, stilted in the extreme. Since the story is split roughly seventy/thirty in favour of dialogue, this became quite tiresome. Sadly for the reader, Charlie Peace is not a master of verbal swordplay so there was no vibrancy or spontaneity in the dialogue.

      While the story is really fairly lame, there is no doubt that Robert Barnard is able to construct a very good whodunit (indeed, he has many crime writing awards to prove this) and there is no shortage of motives or suspects to keep the reader guessing. However, in this book he appears to have made the mistake of introducing a heavy theme which does not really ring true in this type of novel and is more suited, and perhaps more usual in the more graphic crime novels around these days or perhaps the type of investigator seen in television series like “Cracker” or “Messiah”. Ultimately the story is wasted on Charlie Peace and lends itself to a cracking thriller with a more modern type of investigator.

      People familiar with the area in which Barnard sets his novels may be interested to know that this one is set, as the title indicates, in Haworth, most famous for its connection with the Bronte family. It’s an interesting aside to the story with lots of points the readers may recognize but it has no major significance in the story which could have been set anywhere – fictional or real.

      “The Corpse at the Haworth Tandoori” might be best summed up as “crime farce” in that it presents a selection of stereotyped characters in an incredible situation. There are glimpses of a skilled writer but these are largely overlooked when presented with poor characters and a lame plot.
      People familiar with the area in which Barnard sets his novels may be interested to know that this one is set, as the title indicates, in Haworth, most famous for its connection with the Bronte family. It’s an interesting aside to the story with lots of points the readers may recognize but it has no major significance in the story which could have been set anywhere – fictional or real.

      Until recently I had never heard of Robert Barnard but it seems he has, for some years, been quietly producing a wealth of good crime novels. Although I was disappointed this time, I have seen enough to persuade me to read some more of Barnard’s work – taking my recommendations from Sue Magee in future rather than being reeled in by the prospect of a “curry-based crime”! This one unfortunately is just "naan" too convincing.


      Check with online retailers for up to date prices.
      I read the "Collins Crime" hardcover, ISBN - 0002326655
      224 Pages

      Comments

      Login or register to add comments
    • Product Details

      The identification of a young man's dead body found outside a historic Haworth eating establishment takes on a sinister air when it is discovered that he was a guy Friday at a local artist's colony that more closely resembles a cult.