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Michelle Spring

Teoksen Viime henkäykseen tekijä

10+ teosta 466 jäsentä 9 arvostelua


Tekijän teokset

Viime henkäykseen (1994) 98 kappaletta, 2 arvostelua
Standing in the Shadows (1998) 90 kappaletta, 1 arvostelu
Running for Shelter (1995) 81 kappaletta, 1 arvostelu
Nights in White Satin (1999) 80 kappaletta, 2 arvostelua
In the Midnight Hour (2001) 53 kappaletta
The Night Lawyer (2006) 41 kappaletta, 3 arvostelua
Frauenhaus (1994) 1 kappale
Jeu de main, jeu de vilain (2000) 1 kappale

Associated Works

Merkitty avainsanalla


The Unusual Suspects



I think this is what they call romantic suspense. Sort of.

Whatever it is, it's escape reading, to be tossed aside and forgotten as soon as it is read. Yet I will give a little synopsis here, mainly to remind myself what it was about.

Eleanor Porter ("Ellie") is 30 and just starting to make her life over after a hurtful breakup. After being dumped by a man she had fallen deeply for, she landed in a mental hospital for a while. She pulls herself together, starts caring for herself, and finally lands a job as a "night lawyer".

The night lawyer reviews articles for a newspaper, to reduce the potential for legal troubles. (I wonder how many newspapers have one of these.) She works until about ten at night, then heads home by train and foot. During the day, Ellie runs, works out, does her shopping, goes to karate classes, and so forth. She lives on the Isle of Dogs, a part of London that is a peninsula, not actually an island.

One day Ellie happens upon a man who looks oddly familiar but she can't place him. He even calls her name, but she takes off. She starts to see him everywhere. Then she starts to receive what appear to be threatening notes from him. Alluding to a time in her past. We are treated to several chapters about this man, Carl, presumably intended to build suspense.

Ellie lives with the belief that she killed her father. She tries to talk to her cold mother about it, but her mother refuses. Her father's death, which happened when she was eight years old, haunts her, increases her feelings of self-doubt and guilt. This strange man brings up things from her past that she no longer recalls, however, and she wonders what she may have forgotten about that time so long ago.

Meanwhile, she gets to know her next-door neighbor a little, because the young woman plays music too loud too late at night. When Jessica and her boyfriend Tull get into a fight, it's pretty obvious and Ellie tries to help Jess, causing some resentment in Tull.

Meanwhile, back at the office, Ellie is surprised one day to see her former boyfriend Will. He is there as a consultant on some reporter's series. He takes note of Ellie's new improved look and signals his appreciation. Ellie falls again, never having really gotten over him.

Ellie's sheeplike behavior is, of course, the point of the book. We can guess that she eventually gets over it and becomes strong and self-sufficient. Even so, I could hardly stand her, mooning over Will and getting excited about the smallest compliment from her new coworkers.

And yes, the time comes when she is tested, predictably. Honestly, I would have been disappointed if it hadn't happened. Everything is wrapped up rather neatly in a chapter or five (the chapters are very short).

There are a couple of times when I was brought up short by the unusual reactions of the characters. First, Carl is in a bar, meets and talks to a tourist, then leaves. He does not remember going home. This incident is mentioned in a one-liner. Carl has no other thoughts about it, doesn't worry that he forgot some hours of time. I think his lack of reaction is strange indeed.

Later, Ellie comes home to see her house in a wreck. She is, as noted above, so excited about Will, thinking that he wants her, that the fact that her house was broken into and tossed seems to register not at all. Her lack of reaction struck me as strange, too.

The book works as escape reading. After reading several books that took more energy from me, I welcomed the mindlessness of it, even as I was irritated by Ellie and crew.
… (lisätietoja)
Merkitty asiattomaksi
slojudy | 2 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Sep 8, 2020 |
The Police song, ‘Every Breath You Take’, was a huge hit n its initial release back in the early 1980s, and has been one of the most popular records on radio stations specialising in older songs. It has also been chosen by thousands of couples to be played at their wedding, which demonstrates the extent to which people can remain blind to a work’s central theme. It may be a love song, but it is also a rather bleak confession of a would-be stalker.

Michelle Spring does recognise the meaning of the song, and it proves an apposite title for her first novel featuring private detective Laura Principal. Ms Principal is an intriguing character. Her first career choice had been as an academic, lecturing in history at what is clearly meant to be a precursor of the Anglia Ruskin University (not the ‘Angela Raskin University’, as one of my friends genuinely misheard it). Deciding that academia was not for her, she eventually found herself working as a private detective, engaged primarily in commercial cases related to attempted business espionage.

Laura and her closest friend Helen jointly own a cottage in Norfolk where they spend occasional weekends retreating from the stresses f regular life. Having found that this was proving a drain on their respective finances, they were delighted when a friend of a friend mooted the idea of buying into their ownership of the cottage. This seems like a great solution until the new partner, Monica, is found brutally murdered in her Cambridge flat. Although she already has a few cases on her books, Laura conducts her own investigation alongside that pursued by the police, and finds that Monica had been scared for some time, convince that she was being watched and followed wherever she went.

The story is well constructed, and Michelle Spring maintains a deft balance between Laura’s investigation of Monica’s murder and her existing cases. The suspense is taut, and the characters are well drawn. I have a vague recollection of seeing Michelle Spring interviewed on television several years ago, and believe that this story was inspired by her own experiences of having been stalked, before the offence was as well recognised as it is now.

My only cavil about the novel was that it seemed to end very quickly. Having carefully laid the plot to a taut denouement, it was suddenly all over.
… (lisätietoja)
Merkitty asiattomaksi
Eyejaybee | 1 muu arvostelu | Jun 14, 2019 |
Laura Principal investigates a missing student and finds there is much more to it than appears at first sight. Authentic Cambridge locations are a plus but I found the plot a bit plodding and it failed to keep me engaged.
Merkitty asiattomaksi
edwardsgt | 1 muu arvostelu | May 25, 2019 |
Debut book for this author and my first time reading her work. Interesting, engaging, but the lead character needs more depth.
Merkitty asiattomaksi
kenglemd | Apr 13, 2015 |


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