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==Synopsis of the book:==
When recluse Nicholas Housecarl finally dies at the age of 97 his property 'Bromyards' is visited by a firm of Solicitors who are there to catalogue all the items in the house. The place is over 300 years old and while massive is in a very poor state of repair and neglect. As the old man had only lived in two rooms for the last 20 years of his life. A loner who was the last of the family but never wanted the place to change hand while he was still alive.
The extensive gardens are found in a very similar overgrown and run down state. However in the kitchen garden five decomposed bodies are revealed. Mostly they are skeletons and they are all tied together with rope, appearing to have no clothes covering them. This brings George Hennessey and his team to investigate this gruesome scene, with a few of the bodies looking like they have been there years. They must find out what happened and who the dead are in this remote property that has been left to become wild and unloved for so many years.
==My thought on the novel:==
I thought this was an entertaining and enjoyable crime thriller. And while this is very true I do feel the author really missed a trick with this story. That is because he had an excellent basis for what could and in my opinion should have been a much longer, more involved story that would have been far more addictive. That is not so say I did not enjoy it but because this original concept was so good I felt to deserved a much longer investigation and discovering. As the author did not do this idea justice in this short book as finding all these murdered skeletons in a remote country house in my opinion deserved more depth and detail.
This book is part of a successful series of stories featuring Detectives Hennessey and Yellich by English author Peter Turnbull. So far there are 23 stories and this is a more recent one first published in 2010. The stories all focus around York and the surrounding areas of it. They are a well written series of stories that give the reader a feel for a Police investigation and like this story they tend to be on the short side. Which is good if you do not want an in-depth read with lots of twists within it, although as stated above in this case I would have appreciated a longer more drawn out investigation just because it was unusual and in my opinion it warranted it.
Having read several long and complex mysteries over the last few weeks this week I was looking for a quicker more direct story. I have read and enjoyed about 12 stories from this series, so when I discovered this one at a car boot I knew I was onto a winner. Added to which it was on sale for just 50p and at that price I felt I could not go wrong.
The first thing that struck me about the book was its cover. Quite unusually for me I bought a hardback version and on it was part of a chain. Below it was the title 'Aftermath'. This alone had me very interested in what the author meant and intrigued into what had happened. I searched out for the summary of the story on the back cover but instead I found praise for the authors work. This is one of my pet hates I do not mind praise for the book you are about to read because that is relevant but general praise about other books he or she has written in my opinion is useless.
I did however find the summary in the inside sleeve of the book. This was quite short only two paragraphs long and in my opinion did not set the scene well enough. I would have liked to know more about where these bodies were found and a little of the background to the place. Instead I got one paragraph introducing Hennessey and his team to the reader. I thought this was a mistake because this was a good and interesting concept that could have been expanded upon by the author without giving any more of the story away.
The story started quite appropriately with a prologue. And while this was very short only a page and a half it was intriguing. That was because it did not name the people in the discussion and their conversation was interesting without giving too much of the content away. I was very keen to learn more as it was clearly key to the story and it was very mysterious. It could certainly have been longer with a few red herrings and ideally I would have preferred this but all in all it was a good start and had me wanting to know more.
I found I really liked the way the story began. The reason for this I thought the concept of this reclusive man dieing and the discovery of these bodies was excellent. It for me opened up so many possibilities and it sounded like it was be a difficult investigation because they did not know the identity of any of the dead. I liked the way Hennessey and his team went about finding out this information. And I found there was enough depth to make this investigation both credible and at the same time interesting.
The story had a good pace and feel to it. I liked the way it developed and it always had me wondering. Yes there was a distinct lack of suspects because as soon as they were introduced they seem to be discarded. And so it would have been good if there were more as it seemed once the Police had found a link between two of the women that was part of the mystery solved. I would have liked several possible lines of enquiry that would have made it more in-depth and for me enjoyable.
The story regardless of its length was well thought out and always intelligently written. The action was thick and fast and I found I needed to concentrate to remember who the investigation team was visiting who. A little more detail would have solved this problem and could have added more to the story. Although I did like the way the story not only developed but the way it quickly resolved itself. With an ending that I saw coming a long way off, but was a different one at least.
In this story I found I did not really gel with the leading characters within the story. That is despite having read and knowing quite a lot about both Hennessey and Yellich. I found when the author wanted to share some insight into the Detectives lives he did so on various other members of their team and to be honest because they were such short paragraphs I found I gained little from these and no understanding into how and watch made them tick.
When I reached this book on the web I was unable to find a paperback version. That would make the purchase of the Hardback expensive and maybe for many not worth it as it was only 192 pages long.
This is a Detective novel I would on balance recommend. It was an interesting story that was well written and made sense. However, because in my opinion the initial concepts were so good I would have preferred a longer more complex story that did this initial idea justice. So while I would recommend it, it still disappointed me, but for a short, unusual crime story that does not unduly tax the reader this is well worth a read.
Publisher: Severn House
Year first published:2010
Thanks for reading my review.
This review is published under my user name on both Ciao and Dooyoo.
© CPTDANIELS May 2013