Only the Innocent by Rachel Abbott
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
So this is how I chose to close out my reading year of 2013. I had high hopes that this would be a spectacular read. The opening pulled me in & I was all in on this murder mystery. I really liked the DI & all of the officers working with him & the story moved along well. I was even intrigued with the tiniest bit given of a girl alone in a dark house just waiting. It felt foreboding & of course the murder must be tied to it somehow. The momentum kept up for a bit as we meet the wife & her long banished from her life, BFF. And then the detour happened in the form of letters given by Laura to Imogen in order to explain her relationship with her, now murdered, husband, Hugo. It was like hitting a brick wall & then having one’s face scraped across in slow motion. Also, it felt like it came out of nowhere. Instead of following a murder mystery being unravelled by the police, we were taking a detour to show the steps that eventually led here. The shift was jarring & far longer than I expected & sadly, didn’t hold my interest as much. A lot happened but I kept thinking, “So when are we getting back to the actual investigation?” And when we did it really plodded along. I haven’t yet worked out why the letters were given to Imogen to read instead of Laura just telling her everything. They were together in the same place afterall. It felt much like an info-dump & I found it difficult to invest too deeply in most of it though it was not wholly uninteresting.
An exchange between Laura & Tom six months on in the investigation captured my sentiments exactly:
Laura: I can understand that , Tom. I expect you want something with a little more action. This case must be getting a bit dull for you.”
Tom: Oh, it’s certainly dull. It’s been dull for the past six months, actually.
In resolution, there’s a happenstance discovery of a confession & I wasn’t much annoyed, I was just glad that it was nearly over. Three stars because I was definitely in to the end but I didn’t love the trip. Still, I would read another by the author. Her writing was good but here the format nor the characters much engaged me.
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