Thursday, October 3, 2013

A Commonplace Killing

Siân Busby

On a damp July morning in 1946, two schoolboys find a woman’s body in a bomb site in north London. The woman is identified as Lillian Frobisher, a wife and mother who lived in a war-damaged terrace a few streets away.

The police assume that Lil must have been the victim of a vicious sexual assault; but the autopsy finds no evidence of rape, and Divisional Detective Inspector Jim Cooper turns his attention to her private life.

How did Lil come to be in the bomb site – a well-known lovers’ haunt? If she had consensual sex, why was she strangled? Why was her husband seemingly unaware that she had failed to come home on the night she was killed?

In this gripping murder story, Siân Busby gradually peels away the veneer of stoicism and respectability to reveal the dark truths at the heart of postwar austerity Britain. (from Netgalley)

My Thoughts

This story starts is mainly told from two perspectives - Lillian Frobisher, the murder victim and DI Cooper, the murder investigator. Lillian hates her life and wants nothing more than to be some place, any place, else. DI Cooper, while excellent at his job, has a sad and lonely personal life. The story switches back and for between how Lillian ended up murdered, and how Cooper finds out who was responsible.

It took me a while to get interested in this book. At first, I felt the author was giving too much information into the personal lives of Lillian and Jim. But the more I read, the more I decided this was integral. It was important to understand who Lillian was, why she hated her life and how this lead to her making a decision that ultimately lead to her demise. Similarly, it was necessary to understand DI Cooper, because his personal life impacted how he behaved on the job.

I liked the way the author folded this all together. The second half of the story really picked up the pace as Cooper gets closer and closer to solving the mystery. This ended up being a very enjoyable read.

I would like to thank Atria Books/Marble Arch Press, via Netgalley, for allowing me to read this in exchange for an unbiased review.

Publish date: September 17, 2013.

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