Crossbones Yard (Alice Quentin 1) by Kate Rhodes
|Crossbones Yard (Alice Quentin 1) by Kate Rhodes|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: Top-class srime writing with a brilliant evocation of the setting. Highly recommended.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 320/9h7m||Date: June 2012|
|Publisher: Mulholland Books|
Ray and Marie Benson killed thirteen women before they were caught, tried and imprisoned. Five of their victims were never found, but that was six years ago. It can't be them but there's another murder which bears striking similarities to their modus operandi and it's Dr Alice Quentin, a psychologist, who discovers the body on waste ground at Crossbones Yard when she's out running. Quentin finds herself in the odd situation of having discovered the body, and being drawn into helping the police professionally to solve the case.
Serendipity played a big part in my enjoyment of Crossbones Yard. On my way to London for a few days walking I wanted an audio book for light relief. I selected the book almost at random - it was on my Audible recommendations because of its similarities to other books I'd read. It wasn't until I was settled into our apartment on Lower Thames Street, looking out at Tower Bridge that I downloaded the audiobook - and found that Alice Quentin lived in an apartment just off Lower Thames Street, and that she was obsessed with running in the area I was planning to walk. This could have tipped my feelings either way...
In the event there were benefits both ways: I was walking the plot and it worked brilliantly. Kate Rhodes obviously knows and loves the area and she brings it to life with an elegant mixture of the tourist world around the Tower of London (I was slightly surprised to hear someone speaking English today) and the world of the people who live here day in, day out. I loved Quentin's comments about the extortionate price of going into the Tower of London, but her runs in the city and south of the Thames tempted me to walk further afield than I'd originally thought to do.
It's not my city break you want to know about though, is it? Well, it's a gripping plot: I was absolutely convinced that I had the name of the murderer: I'd even convinced myself that I didn't mind because the writing was so good, but I was completely wrong. Once I had the name it was absolutely obvious and I couldn't understand why I hadn't spotted it before: it's a book to listen to again fairly soon, just for the pleasure of seeing how Rhodes did it. The characters were compelling too: I loved the idea of a psychologist having a brother with severe mental health issues: somehow it pointed up how cruel mental illness can be. The cast list reflects the cosmopolitan nature of London, too. Quentin's boss is a Sikh and despite being commitment phobic (she didn't have the best examples in her childhood) she's sexually attracted to a detective sargeant of Spannish descent. London's a melting pot and Crossbones Yard reflects it.
I loved the book and listened right through it far too quickly. In fact it was so good that I immediately bought the next book in the series.
For more crime fiction featuring a strong female detective who's commitment phobic we can recommend Angela Marson's D I Kim Stone novels.
You could get a free audio download of Crossbones Yard (Alice Quentin 1) by Kate Rhodes with a 30-day Audible free trial at Amazon.co.uk.
You can read more book reviews or buy Crossbones Yard (Alice Quentin 1) by Kate Rhodes at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Crossbones Yard (Alice Quentin 1) by Kate Rhodes at Amazon.com.
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