Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Claire Seeber – Fragile Minds

Claudie’s young son died several years ago and she is still struggling to cope having suffered a breakdown and splitting with her husband. When a bomb blast near her work at the Royal Ballet Academy kills her friend Tessa Claudie’s world is once again turned upside down. Claudie realises that she has lost periods of time and after sereral strange occurrences she begins to feel that she may have had something to do with the blast. DCI Joe Silver is on the case but he has problems of his own and is distracted.

This book has an interesting plot with lots of twists and turns including clues and red herrings. I had suspicions about several of the characters but didn’t quite manage to work out who did it.

I quite liked the way the book was written, jumping between the perspectives of several of the characters. Claudie’s chapters were written in first person and the other character’s chapters were in third person which sounds a little odd but seemed to work.

On the whole the characters aren’t particularly likeable but they are quite interesting. We slowly learn the stories behind Claudie and Silvers problems and get to know quite a bit about some of the other more minor characters as well.

There was one thing that annoyed me in the book. One of the main supporting characters, a detective called Kenton, is a lesbian. Fine. What was annoying was that the author saw fit to go on and on and on about it. Pretty much every time Kenton was mentioned there was a reference to her sexuality. It was like the author was saying “Look! Look! I’ve put a lesbian in my book! Look!” It had no bearing on the plot whatsoever and became distracting. It started off being mildly irritating and by the end I wanted to grab the author and scream at her “I know she’s a lesbian, you have mentioned it eight thousand times already, I don’t care, tell us something else about her”! I think what made it more annoying was that Kenton seemed like an interesting and likeable character and it would have been nice to have seen a bit more character development and find out more about her.

Having said that I did still enjoy the book. The story was gripping and the pacing was just right. I do have another Claire Seeber book in my to read pile so I will be giving that one a go at some point.

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