TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT

Written by Niamh O'Connor

Review written by Sara Townsend

Sara-Jayne Townsend is a published crime and horror writer and likes books in which someone dies horribly. She is founder and Chair Person of the T Party Writers’ Group. http://sarajaynetownsend.weebly.com/


TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT
Transworld Ireland
RRP: £6.99
Released: 14th March 2013
Pbk

Detective Inspector Jo Birmingham is tipped off by a journalist about a woman’s body in the Dublin mountains, with the suggestion that the victim is one of a group of women who disappeared several years earlier. 

Upon investigation, Jo and her team indeed find a body but this victim died very recently – so recently that she’s not even been reported missing yet.  Is she connected to the spate of disappearances and is the original suspect, Derek Carpenter, involved?  When it is revealed that the victim, Amanda Wells, lives on Carpenter’s estate, the finger of suspicion is firmly pointed at him.

This is the third book featuring Jo Birmingham.  I like her as a character and think she has what it takes to follow through a series but I think she could do without her stroppy husband, who really comes across as an asshat.

Also annoying is the character of Liz Carpenter, Derek’s wife.  Her autistic son occupies her life to the point that she makes some appallingly stupid decisions; including going to great lengths to hide the evidence when she suspects Derek killed Amanda, so that her son will not experience the trauma of having people know his father is a murderer.

The murder plot, despite taking some rather complicated turns, does eventually resolve, although the ending felt a tad rushed.  However, various sub-plots involving the main characters are left dangling – presumably in a bid to encourage the reader to buy the next book in the series.  But with the exception of Jo Birmingham, none of the other characters were sufficiently interesting for me to care what happens to them.

The story is told against a political backdrop hinging around the Leveson inquiry and the questionable tactics that newspapers employ to get their stories.  This did not engage me. However, if you’re interested in current affairs and like police procedurals, this book is right up your alley.

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