Summary

Stephen Bryan, a gay academic, is found brutally murdered in his bathroom. Will Grayson and Helen Walker, police detectives investigating the case, at first assume that his death is the result of an ill-judged sexual encounter.But doubts are soon raised. Bryan's laptop has gone missing - could the murder be connected to a biography he was writing on the life and mysterious death of 50s screen legend Stella Leonard? Convinced there's a link, Bryan's sister Lesley sets out to prove that Bryan had uncovered a dangerous truth. But soon both Lesley and Helen Walker find themselves victims of the violence that swirls around them, as gradually the investigation uncovers the secrets of a family corrupted by lust, wealth and power.
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©2007 John Harvey; (P)2008 WF Howes Ltd
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2 out of 5 stars
By Amanda on 05-07-09

disappointed & dissatisfied

I saw this title listed among the works of several authors up for a crime-writing award and decided to give it a try. Thanks to uneven pacing and shoddy narration, I don't think I'll be reading another John Harvey book for a while. I gave this two stars because I found I needed to finish the book; beyond that, there is little to laud. The plot drags for much of the book, only to cram too much into a scene seemingly to make up for lost time. I came away feeling that the author treated themes around abusive relationships and the emotions that fuel them with little real depth. The narration, too, detracts from the book: somehow most sentences end with an inflection that kept making me think the narrator thought there was a selacious hidden meaning in every paragraph! Dialog is also overdone at several points, turning an argument between a married couple into something sounding like children sniping at one another. I'll stick with Reginald Hill and Peter Robinson!

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