The Axe Factor by Colin Cotterill
|The Axe Factor by Colin Cotterill|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: Clever in the best sense of the word, complex without being over complicated and with some brilliant humour. Recommended.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 314||Date: August 2014|
|External links: Author's website|
Jimm Juree's family is beyond dysfunctional. Her mother apparently hired her father, one brother is her sister as well as a computer genius and her other brother is dating a body builder old enough to be his mother. Jimm is relatively normal: a thirty-four-year-old crime reporter living in - and helping to run - a dilapidated beach resort on the Gulf of Thailand - but without a crime to report on. Until, that is, she was approached by Nurse Da about the fact that the Doctor from the health centre had gone missing. There doesn't actually seem to be a crime, but Jimm agrees to find out what has happened to Dr. Somluk.
Dr Somluk has had a somewhat chequered career, never seeming to stick at a job for very long. She's now in her sixties and has a history of finding a cause and then making a fuss about it. This time it's the multinational corporation who have been aggressively marketing their baby milk formula to women who probably can't afford it, don't have the clean water to make the milk safely - and who are seduced by the promises of having brighter, healthier, chubbier babies. Dr Somluk knows that Breast Is Best and recently she's been making quite a nuisance of herself to the Medley Corporation.
Mind you, Jimm is just a bit distracted. Being thirty four, divorced and on her own wasn't entirely the way that she'd seen her life working out, so when a famous writer, who's moved in to a big house locally, seems to be rather smitten with her it's not unnatural that she's just a bit flattered. The family would have described it as 'taken in'. Grandad would probably have added 'by the sleazebag'.
You will get more out of this book if you've read Killed at the Whim of a Hat and Grandad There's a Head on the Beach. It reads OK as a standalone, but there's an extra layer of enjoyment if you already know the family history. And it's worth doing as this really is one of the best crime series around at the moment. Jimm makes a feisty and very believable heroine and the family is loveable if not adorable. Colin Cotterill knows Thailand and he brings out the best and the worst of the location.
What I loved most though is the fact that Cotterill has once again looked at important topical issues. This time he's shone a light on a practice which has been common and which has caused me to boycott for more than a decade anything marketed by a multinational corporation with a name not dissimilar to 'Medley' - in the book they drink Medcafe... It's not preachy (as I know I can be on the subject) but it's not just a good story either. It's a practice that needs wiping out.
And it IS a good story. I had someone else chalked in as the perpetrator. It's clever in the best sense of the word, complex without being over complicated and with some brilliant humour. Now you know why I loved it so much!
I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.
Cotterill's other series is the Dr Siri Paiboun mysteries, which you'll find listed here.
You can read more book reviews or buy The Axe Factor by Colin Cotterill at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy The Axe Factor by Colin Cotterill at Amazon.com.
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