“ Genre: Crime / Thriller / Author: Louise Brindley / Hardcover / 224 Pages / Book is published 2005-07-29 by Severn House Publishers Ltd „
==Synopsis of the book:==
Gerry and Bill Bentine are about to set forth on the great adventure of marriage. This starts with their honeymoon which they have planned for the remote and isolated cottage in the Outer Hebridies. As part of this unusual trek they drive up from London stopping off along the route at a few bed and breakfast establishments.
This is a break the couple badly need as not only have they been preparing for their big day, but Gerry has been involved in several operations helping the Police with her knowledge and amateur
Detective skills. Indeed she has been kidnapped and held at gunpoint in the past few weeks alone. She is a successful writer of crime thrillers with a vivid and varied imagination that is always on search of mystery.
However as soon as they reach the cottage in this beautiful but stormy land, they realise this is not the accommodation they had requested. Bill confronts and argues this point with the local agent Sam MacNally but because of a storm brewing, they agree to stay at this cottage for the night. The Police arrive late that night advising them that Sam has been murdered and Bill was the last one to see him alive. In the morning they are visited by Sam's boss the Laird Fergus Glencochlin who because of the misunderstanding over the cottage asks them to be his guests at his castle, while the Police continue their investigations.
==My thoughts on this novel:==
I thought this was one of the poorest crime thrillers I have ever read. The writing style was on the positive side easy to follow, I just found it lacked decent detailed descriptions of the central characters. Added to this I thought the author had a far to simplistic view of life with whatever Gerry's colourful imagination thought seem to come true.
When I came to research this book I was shocked that Louise Brindley had already written 24 previous novels with this being her latest one written in 2005. But maybe that was just part of the problem they author seemed for me to have a very simplistic view of issues such as good or bad. For me in this book you where either very very good such as Gerry, Bill and their friends or you where very bad and sinister such as the character who murdered Sam. There was just no middle ground, no misjudging anyone and frankly I found this too simple.
As a result of this there was very little mystery as both the writer and the main character had decided early on in the story who was guilty party was and their judgement was never in any doubt. Added to which because the main characters where on their honeymoon, there was a lot of affection and love displayed between them. But there love seemed from almost a bygone era as neither ever thought any bad or the other and never questioned or disagreed with their opinion. In short in some ways it made me feel sick. I did not feel a recently married couple could or would behave quite as these two did.
I think I approached this book with an open mind, having not read anything before from this author. Maybe that was a little of my problem as clearly this couple Bill and Gerry had been involved in several thrillers before and the author reminded the reader of several occasions of these. Maybe that is why she did not fully describe these characters appearance, instead focusing on those under suspicion more closely. And to be truthful I often do not take to a new author to me immediately it takes a book or two for me to appreciate their style, but in this case I do not believe that will happen, as there was nothing for me to really like or feel I could relate to in this story.
I bought this book simply because I wanted a crime thriller. This became evident that I had one by the title and I liked the idea of people being killed while on honeymoon when I'm sure they would be off guard. The second thing that influenced me was the decent summary on the inside cover. This promised a lot and again it was this concept of Bill and Gerry being invited to a castle that persuaded me this might be an interesting read.
Initially I found the story very easy to get into and I liked the idea of this newly married couple travelling by car to the Outer Hebrides. It was only when Sam was murdered that I started to lose interest and stop enjoying the story. Because no sooner had they arrived at the castle Gerry decided the fate of all the other Laird's guests it seemed to me. But I persisted thinking, expecting and hoping it would improve and their would be a real twist that I hadn't thought of or expected.
The only twist that happened was half way through the story all the mystery was taken away as the guilty party was confirmed and from that point on the story only contained a modicum of suspense. Which in truth was obvious and lacked this author using much thought or imagination. Although to give the author her dues the concluding chapters where more interesting and for the first time exciting.
The books leading character was Gerry the action girl. To be honest I found little about her that interested me, as she always seemed to be right. I found her relationship with Bill annoying as I did not think they behaved like a married couple on honeymoon at all. The author tried hard to add spice and humour to their relationship but for me this also failed as it was too obvious and just not funny.
On the other side of things I found the Laird Fergus Glencochlin a far more interesting character. Although here again I would have liked to learn more about him and his background. And I must say I found his actions quite unbelievable which for me detracted further from the story. He was a good character who was not exploited to his potential.
The story was in two distinct parts which took me by surprise. What I would have preferred was the first part greatly expanded as the original idea behind the story was great and by using the Castle as the base I felt there was plenty of material for a fascinating story with lots of mystery and suspense. As the second part introduced additional characters that had little or nothing to do with the original story.
The copy I purchased was the Hardback version as I could not find the paperback on any of the second hand web sites for books. It was thankfully short at only 220 pages long and I bought mine for only three pounds including Post and Packaging at Amazon. However I should point out having all these published novels as Louise Brindley has means she is a thousand times better writer than me who has never had one.
This is not a book I would recommend, it really was not my cup of tea. It was weak and I thought the story was far to predictable and lacked real thought. And although I thought the concept behind it was good the author did not go into nearly enough detail and use the amazing location to anywhere near its potential. I certainly will not be looking for another book but this author in the near future as based on this one her story was a little of of step with how we lead our lives and seemed old fashioned.
Thanks for reading my review.
This review is published under my name on both Ciao and Dooyoo.
*CPTDANIELS February 2012