You never know what to expect with a new author and a debut novel. I am pleased to report that I was very entertained with this book. Like an insect flying into a fan, I was sucked in, somewhere within the first few pages and the speed of the fan blades never abated. This was a page turner, all the way to the end. And I survived the fan blades, too.
The story is told in the voice of Erin Paterson, a Glasgow lawyer, and starts with the very professional Erin having a bad day, a very bad day. But this is also crime fiction land and that bad day gets worse, extending to weeks and all aspects of her life. Indeed, poor Erin is surrounded by a somewhat dysfunctional family, has enough policemen knocking on her door to create a fan club and has a professional life about to belly dance in “up” mode only.
Erin’s a smart lawyer, a sassy lady with a sharp tongue and dry humour. Her day starts with her forgetting a file for an important meeting, going home to retrieve it and finding her boyfriend in their bed with the cleaner. An altercation follows, in which she surprises even herself by hitting him on the head with a statue and then kicking the man when he’s down. Ouch. But when the first policemen have finished with her – charges dropped, she was provoked you understand – the second visit relates to something far more sinister. Lucy Granville-Grant was brutally murdered and, at about the time of her death, a call was made from the victim’s mobile to Erin’s. So starts a story involving a serial killer on the loose, doubts over the suicide of Erin”s elder brother Leland and Erin’s brushes with a journalist who has a hidden agenda, or does he?
Oh, there’s more. A massive amount is packed into this one story. I’d like to say that on finishing the book, it’s possible to put it down and take a deep breath. Alas, no. It’s a short breath. We are left with the hint of a loose end, which sets us up for reading the next book in the series, “Death’s Sister”.
One last thing; surely this is the only novel to carry an acknowledgement to a firm of chartered accountants? “To all at Martin, Aitken & Co., Accountants. Especially to Jim McInroy, Jim Copeland and Adrienne Airlie – unbelievably you make accounting fun!” Fun? Heavens, I did it for years and opted out. Any firm that can make "accounting fun" is rollicking good by me, but I’d still decline the party invitation… If you lot can make accounting fun, you deserve a Nobel Prize as far as I’m concerned. I prefer murder and intrigue to debits and credits any day.
Louise Anderson grabbed my attention. She entertained me. She had me page turning. It’s that sort of story: well told, but with a need for a calming influence. OK, you got it… I hope…
This is pure entertainment, at a fast pace, with some great twists and good humour. I just hope that Anderson has not run out run out of plots and plot twists for what looks to be an entertaining series. I shall certainly be reading the next.