Monday, 23 June 2014
Not only was I there, but I had read the book as well! Goodness knows how many titles I've missed this year, but I'm glad I didn't miss this one. Now, I'm not generally a big reader of detective/thriller books, but last year one of you kind folk recommended Martin Edwards as a Lake District read, and we're hooked on that series now; now I fully expect to be hooked on the Back Road sequels too.
Like J. K. Rowling's Casual Vacancy this book revolves around a very well described cannon of characters. Unlike Casual Vacancy, however, it is not at all a waste of however long you spend reading it. In a more positive comparison, like Roasmunde Pilcher's Winter Solstice it has a house at the core of the setting that becomes as much a charcter as the people who move in and out of it. I like books with house you can nearly feel. Unlike Winter Solstice you don't feel the need to count the number of Belfast sinks, although you will end up obsessed with yellow roses.
The Back Road moves on from a very distressing opening chapter into some very intricate weaving of characters and plot. Deliberate red herrings will leave you nonplussed until the end, and the distress of the beginning blossoms into a clever twist. It's not Great Literature. My definition of Great Literature is a book that will open up your whole life to you. This is entertainment, not the whole plaire et instruire upon which my ingrained Moliere insists, but I'm becoming less of a book snob either as I get older or as holidays approach. Or both. Actually, the lure for these books for me is the relationship suspense. I only read on with the Edwards books to find out whether or not they've got themselves together. I turn out to be a sucker for a nice love story.
Top is Heather Boss. My one time Library boss, and now Hookery leader. She would like to state that her Agatha Christie, our summer read, is all her own. Below is Queen Niqi, domestic goddess who is quite aware that she is re-enacting a mugshot! The rest of us are borrowing Agathas from Helena. So, Helena, I have pictures of all of us and books will be returned!