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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

A break from Crime

I am glad I switched books on Bookcase 3 and ended up reading Dead Man Walking by Paul Finch because I very much enjoyed this book. I was expecting a standard police chasing serial killer book but it was far from a routine piece of fiction. Setting the book in rural Cumbria was a masterstroke, the geography and isolation of this part of the world in winter is a major part of the plot and a makes the book quite original. The main body of the book, the part when the killer is on the loose, is a great piece of suspense and kept me turning the pages. I averaged over 100 pages a day reading this book, which is very fast for me, and I was quite disappointed as the end of the book approached. I wasn't especially impressed by the ending, or the whole reason why the main characters had assembled in Cumbria in the first place, but I'll take that as artistic licence because once the story got going it was very addictive. My score for this book is 8/10, it's been the best yet.

The next bookcase is tucked away in the corner of the library, surrounded by crime novels, and that is True Crime. I must confess that I have never noticed this bookcase before I started my tour of the library, but I certainly have read plenty of True Crime books in the past 30 years. I have always been interested in what drives people to do senseless things like mass murder so have read lots of books about serial killers, especially the British ones. There were only six books on the case I was not allowed to read as I had read before, or had read other books by the same author. These books included a couple works on Jack the Ripper, one on the Austrian kidnapper Josef Fritzl and a non-fiction book by Gabriel García Márquez, who I thought was just a novelist.

In the end I selected Gone by Neil Root, about a woman who vanished one day near York on her way to work. I have read plenty of books about criminals, but not many about the victims. I can only think of the books by Kate McCann and Kevin Wells that I have read about their missing children, which it would be ghoulish to say I enjoyed but I read with interest and sympathy. This book is about an adult who disappeared, and no explanation has ever been found of why she vanished, let's see what it is like....

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