Bad Books

If you look at my list of 52 books that I’ve read this year, you’ll see that I’ve included a book called “For Death Comes Softly” by Hilary Bonner. I thought about it a couple of times before I added it to the list. I hadn’t yet decided if I was going to include books I had read but hated. And yes, this is one of those.

P gave me it and it was second-hand, thank goodness. At least I didn’t waste £5.99 on it. It was the worst murder mystery I’ve read in a while; hackneyed, dull and confusing. For some odd reason, Ms Bonner decided to add two plots together. The main character is a DCI in a child abuse unit and has the distressing case of an abused boy with Down’s Syndrome to figure out. At the same time, she has fallen in love and has acted very unprofessionally with a murder suspect. One or either would have been enough, but mashing the two together has produced an unsatisfying book. One keeps wanting the DCI to get on with the child abuse case, for heavens sake and stop farting around with the bad romance novel hero.

There’s lots of dreadful writer’s mistakes, like over-using reporting instead of actually describing what is happening and what we are supposed to be seeing. Ms Bonner was originally a newspaper reporter and she is obviously far better at that than at writing novels. I read this trash in a couple of hours and was heartily glad to be done with it. I won’t be bothering her section of the shelves in Waterstones at all.

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