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Trick Of The Dark. By Val McDermid (2011)

by Val McDermid(Favorite Author)
3.37 of 5 Votes: 5
0751543225 (ISBN13: 9780751543223)
review 1: This book made me rush home from work to read it (and I love my work). Main character Charlie Flint initially doesn't seem sympathetic. Despite being in a happy marriage, she's contemplating an affair. But her inner conflict over her intense attraction to another woman versus her real and deep love for her wife is so well drawn it's compelling. I really feel for Charlie as she veers one way and then the other. She's also struggling with having done the right thing in her work as a forensic psychologist, only to be vilified when her truthful, accurate testimony leads to the release of someone who goes on to murder several women. Charlie is at loose ends, reputation tarnished, awaiting the results of an investigation into her actions when she's contacted by a former colleagu... moree.The colleague's son-in-law has been killed. While two people have been convicted, Charlie is set on the trail of another suspect, a charismatic, self-made businesswoman, Jay Stewart. Jay is phenomenally successful, and a series of deaths have occurred in connection with her, each making her road to success a bit easier. Seems like a no-brainer, yet no one has pinned the deaths on Jay or even conclusively determined they were not accidental. Part of the story is told through a memoir Jay's writing, as well as through her reflections on the memoir and her efforts to slant it. The reader is never sure how much of her current memoir -- or of Jay's previous bestselling tell-all -- is true or not, and it's fascinating to try to figure that out. The plot includes many twists and turns, and the characters, even minor ones, are nuanced and well-developed. The only flaw was a bit too much coincidence. But overall I enjoyed following Charlie and trying to sort out the various mysteries (there are several).For writers, this is a great book to read to see effective use of a story-within-a-story (Jay's memoirs within the larger story), as well as slow the unravelling of characters' past and present circumstances. Also interesting is the way McDermid manages to convey to the reader things the viewpoint character is unaware of because of that character's emotions or background. It takes great talent to subtly get across points the viewpoint character misses without making that character seem too clueless to be believed. Perhaps once or twice I thought Charlie should have caught something that she didn't, but for the most part, I was right with her.Looking forward to reading more Val McDermid books. I'm trying to spread them out so I don't devour them all in a month or two and run out.
review 2: I usually enjoy anything by Val McDermid, but for the first time I was a little disappointed. The story was thin, too contrived to be totally convincing. Richard Russo's wonderful novels proved to me that I don't actually have to like the main character in order to enjoy a book, but actively disliking McDermid's heroine did make it hard for me to enjoy this story. Charlie Flint goes through the novel contemplating being unfaithful to her partner. Considering the starting point of the novel was her high moral standpoint in a previous case, this totally undermined her character for me, as did her decision, late in the story, to lie to the person who instigated the investigation. Worst of all was the scene that tied the whole thing up when Charlie, quite on the spur of the moment, decides to visit the a block of flats where, displaying the skills of a trained surveyor, she notices a discrepancy in the dimensions of a room and by then employing an impressive talent for demolition, makes the all-important, discovery. Serious credibility failure there. Ah well... All writers have weaker novels and there are plenty of great McDermid books to make up for this one. less
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Reasonably entertaining but generally too many inevitable and obvious twists and turns
I liked it, but the ending was a no-brainer...
met momenten wat langdradig
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