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Oh these Irish families

warning - Oh these Irish families
ARCREVIEW - Oh these Irish families

The ‘good’ man is very ill with cancer, and in his illness he is attended by his family – in good Irish fashion. He has cancer and has only months to live so they are gathered – his daughters, one by second marriage and one by the first are there to look after him. The husband and baby of the second daughter are there too as the baby is still being breast fed; and the sister arrives from England. All to say the last things they needed to him before…

But it is not a happy family.

In good traditional Irish family sagas there are dark secrets and they start to ooze out – and then he dies, and the police come calling and more emerge from the dark Irish boglands it seems. The text feels like you are wandering in a dark misty bog, where there is no solidity to your footsteps – the foreboding that there is something really wrong oozes from the book in a delightful fashion.

This is not a book to read if you want to be cheered up. This is a book that re-emphasised for me, the insidiousness of the way the Roman Catholic church offers forgiveness and sanctuary in return for a few prayers, no matter how heartfelt they are, your sins are forgiven if you only tell the priest in confession. Well I don’t believe that. It gives people too easy a way out of their deeds. And yes, our ‘good’ man had many sins to be forgiven and he thought becoming religious in his older age would help…

The style has the right quality for a book with this storyline and draws you in, and the characterisation is well done.

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Up the ladder and down again..

I re-read books 1 and 2 to get me up to speed for 3 as I had read them some time ago and loved them again. Now in Snakes and Ladders, Ziba, our damaged profiler references the Mind Hunter the TV series and the book that these stories are based on – and which I have been watching – and of course, the very current scandal with MPs and the supposed ring of paedophiles which has been in court and the person claiming the ring sentenced. But when book 2 was written we did not know that he had made it all up. And now of course we can all watch the series The Making of a Murderer which explains some of the reasons that some people kill. Multiple factors come into play from brain abnormalities born with or damage through fights etc; social environment eg growing up in an area rife with gangs; the ease of obtaining weapons and so on. And Ziba gives lectures at Quantico about this topic.

So this story and the previous ones, are based on real events and real insights into profiling and how murderers are made and act. And this gives them the grittiness needed and the author’s ability to take these and make a compelling story from them.

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Lose Nothing

This is number 2 in this series about a profiler looking for her husband’s murderer and the reason why he was murdered. Even going so far as to bring in Wolfie for extra help.

Our profiler is still grieving and as such is perhaps not as clear-headed as she should be and so makes mistakes. Ones she should know better than …

For me, the writing style had improved over book 1 and so was the story-telling. As with all these genre of books, red herrings abound and there is a great twist to the ending.

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More bad than beautiful

Wonderful twist to the end.. Not what I expected as I followed Maddie’s sessions in therapy and what we discovered about her, her marriage, and her husband.

It seems very clear that Ian is suffering from PTSD from his time in the army and is unstable as a result. And as the story progresses, you begin to wonder about Maddie’s injury. Just how did she get it? Who was involved? Was it Ian?

And the therapist seems so helpful, but rather unprofessional but Maddie finds her useful to help her process her thoughts and emotions.

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Profiling gets nasty

What happens when a profiler gets profiled? And when her profile of a serial killer leads her to suspect a co-worker who seems to fit this profile only too well?

But not everything is what it seems to be, or what seems to her to be connected is, which skews her profile.

Engrossing reading with a heroine you empathise with, not snarky but nonetheless capable of being kickass if she needs to be.

Good style and plotting.

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