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Heroes - Anne Perry

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Genre: Fiction / Author: Anne Perry / Paperback / 160 Pages / Book is published 2007-08-26 by Barrington Stoke Ltd

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      16.03.2010 19:35
      Very helpful



      Short story about suspicious death in the trenches

      I have never read anything by Anne Perry before, but I have read some of the Most Wanted series of books from Barrington Stoke publishers, produced using their own font and increasing the line spacing to make it easier for dyslexic and reluctant readers to pick up a book and get into reading.

      Heroes is a tale set in the First World War, in the trenches in France, with a chaplain who patrols the trenches, boosting morale and offering up the occasional religious comfort. When he comes across an apparent hero, returning carrying a wounded man on his back, he soon finds that, despite the extremely dangerous enemy only a few hundred yards away, dangers can often be closer to home than you can imagine.

      What this book does is give us a little crime drama set in an unlikely scenario. With a couple of deaths, and a sniper from the enemy's location, but an inquisitive chaplain who finds that the pieces of the puzzle don't quite fit, it's a really enjoyable read that was over in minutes. The font type and line spacing makes the pages whizz past, and this book only has 60 or so of them anyway. Perry manages to bring minimal characterisation to the table, and this is enough given the length of the book. We don't need to know any background of any of the characters for the story to make sense and for it to be an enjoyable read. The pace is good, and the story is split into manageable chapters.

      I thought that Perry managed to capture some of the perils of war that you hear about very well. The panic and concern and fear that you hear about from those who have been involved in armed conflict are realised in the conversations that the chaplain has with the various soldiers and officers that he comes across as he is patrolling the trenches, and the various characters all display that uncertainty about whether they would be the next one to catch the pinpoint accuracy of the enemy sniper. Indeed, it's these emotions that form the foundation of the story, and the reasons for the deaths of the soldiers that make the chaplain think that something isn't quite right. There is a plot with a twist here, but ultimately it's not the biggest secret, and Perry doesn't really make an effort to hide it. If she had done, I imagine it would have felt rather forced and false. As it is, the story works very well, albeit a short one.

      I really enjoyed this one, and as far as the really short reads go, it's well worth giving a go. The lack of pages and room to write in make a bit of a difference in the lack of depth, but it's still an intriguing read and one I highly recommend. The only negative outside of the story itself is the price: the Barrington Stoke books are highly priced at £5.99, which I feel is too high for what it is. However, if you spot it for cheap or in the library, go for it!


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