Saturday, 21 August 2010

CRIME REVIEW: Lifeblood - N J Cooper

Release Date: 08/07/10


Six months on from the events in NO ESCAPE, forensic psychologist Karen Taylor is busy assessing prisoners out on parole for a Ministry of Justice project designed to predict which of them will re-offend. One of them is Randall Greer, a violent serial rapist, whose last offence took place on the Isle of Wight. Karen is sure he will attack again - and that this time he will probably kill. So when Randall breaks the terms of his parole and goes missing, Karen breaks all the rules. She returns to the Isle of Wight to warn DCI Charlie Trench, because he was involved in Greer's arrest and subsequent trial for the rape of Lizzie Fane. Randall had threatened to kill Lizzie if she gave evidence against him. Lizzie Fane has secretly reinvented herself as Lisa Raithe, and is enjoying a burgeoning career as a successful artist. She's settled into an attractive village well away from the Island - and has tentatively started dating again. As Lisa, she has everything going for her. Until she hears that Randall is out, and on the loose. She has stoically rebuilt her shattered life - how far will she go to protect it? Soon people who gave evidence at Randall's trial are found murdered. Has the rapist now turned killer, as Karen predicted? Has Lizzie herself turned avenging angel? Or, as Karen starts to suspect, is someone else pulling the strings?


To be honest the blurb on this offering really makes you want to get started very quickly, however that said, I did feel that whilst the overall arc was very pleasing, the principle protagonista was pretty weak. I just couldn’t get a handle upon her contradictory nature that felt that the author didn’t understand her very well either. Leaving that to one side, the dialogue was reasonable, the other cast members believable and there was an addictive way in which the author took you by the hand through the tale. But as many readers are already aware if you can’t grasp the lead character it doesn’t matter how well the offering is written the reader is left partially in limbo. A great shame and something that I hope the author will fix in future offerings.

No comments: