“ Author: Andrew Taylor / Format: Paperback / Date of publication: 22 November 2012 / Genre: Crime & Thriller / Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton General Division / Title: The Sleeping Policeman / ISBN 13: 9781444765700 / ISBN 10: 1444765700 „
==Synopsis of the book:==
Private investigator William Dougal is approached by Dr Graham Hanslope as he is being blackmailed. The Doctor is clearly ill at ease with reporting this matter and not willing to get the Police involved as Dougal suggested. The details are limited but he agrees to help out and try and resolve the mystery.
Dougal soon discovers when he visits the village it is not the quiet friendly place it is seen as. And as well as Blackmail there has also been several burglaries in the community and one of Hanslope's neighbours 15 year old Leonie Burwell is been injured in a hit and run accident. Can Dougal resolve the mystery before it gets messier and without allowing the Doctors dirty secret to become public?
==My thoughts on the novel:==
I thought this was an unusual and interesting suspense story. It was certainly different to what I expected but then different can be good as variety is the spice of life. For me it had a very different feel to many of the Detective stories I have read lately and I liked this fact.
This is not an author I had seen or even heard of before I won it in a raffle at work. Everyone thought it was ideal me winning this because they know I read so many crime thrillers. And probably as I had not read any of this series before and this is the seventh within it I found it a little hard going at start with. I always struggle with new authors as it takes a while to get used to their style of writing but once I did I started to enjoy what I was reading.
I always think it is a good test of how good an author is if you can pick up any of their books in a series and immediately understand what is happening without having to go back or refer to the first book in the series. This I struggled a little with on this occasion as the story did not seem to involve William Douglas much for at least the first half of it and even then it was also the Police that were involved in the case. And at times because the author was writing from one of the Policemen's perspective I wondered who the main character really was!!
But that is not to say I did not enjoy what I was reading. In many ways for me this was a refreshing story and I liked the fact the author managed to follow several characters within it. This gave different views as to what was happening. I would have just liked more on Dougal as I felt I knew very little about him despite finishing the book. There was little about his life away from his work I sure this detail is in other stories in the series it just did not give me the opportunity to understand and empathise with him as I would have liked.
On winning the first thing I noticed about the book was its unusual colour it was a green colour that I thought was odd to say the least as it displayed on real picture as such just the authors name and the title. Low budget was my immediate thought. That said I quite liked the title and I wondered what the author meant by this. On the rear of the book was a good if slightly short summary of the story, it set the scene well and had me interested in it. Along with two compliments about the book I was about to read.
The story I found initially quite easy to get into because it went straight into a meeting between the Doctor and the Detective. However I started to struggle a little when the story moved away from London to the village. I think the reason was a lot of different characters were introduced with this setting and the story seemed to follow anyone of them. Dougal seemed missing as I learnt more about the local policeman and how he was settling in to the community.
However the further I read the more I understood, although I did feel the author was wrong to follow so many of the characters daily lives. I started to know them better and remember who was who. It became easier and along with some great descriptions of scenes and people I started to enjoy what I was reading and to try and understand who was behind the various mysteries.
It was in some ways a typical mystery were everyone seems to have a secret that they do not want exposed although some in this seemed to have more than one!! It was cleverly written although I must admit I knew most of the answers a while before they were resolved. Maybe the author gave a little too much away at times or I have read too many thrillers.
For me the ending on the book was the most bizarre I have read in a long time. It almost felt that I was going back to a completely new writer again. It was certainly very different and very strange and not as all straight forward just crossing the t's and dotting the i's. I almost felt this needed to be explained as it totally throw me. I will say no more but it was very odd.
The leading character in this series was William Dougal. A likable Private Detective. I found him easy to follow and I liked the way his brain worked. I did not feel however I got to know him that much as the story seemed to focus on the other characters more. Yes I would have liked more emphasis on him as I felt in this story the author barely stretched the surface when dealing with him and I certainly did not build up any empathy with him.
For me the author focused more on the support characters who I'm sure will not play a further role in the series. These I liked on the whole because some thought was put into their characters and personalities. As a result I could understand their view points better and felt I knew more about them.
The story certain was thick in mystery and suspense and the deeper you read into the story the main there was. This was excellent as far as I was concerned and I had the feeling I always needed to expect the unexpected as there were a few twists within the story to be enjoyed.
I think I will definitely need to read another story in this series. I would like to know more about the leading character William Dougal and I'm sure there will be more about him in any of the others and maybe I have just been unlucky this time. I would also like to read another to see how it compares with this one. As I do think the style of writing was good and I thought the author had a new fresh approach to a crime thriller.
Overall I think this is a crime thriller that I would recommend. It was well written with plenty of suspects with motives for committing a crime. The depth in the story was good and I felt the author's style seemed different and new. Although that could be explained by him being just new to me!! The only thing I really struggled with was the lack of involvement by the series main characters and as a result I felt I did not really know him.
About the author: www.andrew-taylor.co.uk
Year first published: 2012.
Thanks for reading my review!!
This review is published on both Ciao and Dooyoo under my user name.
© CPTDANIELS June 2013