Wednesday, March 4, 2009

What to do When Someone Dies - review

Nicci French is the pen-name of a husband-and-wife team, but for the purposes of clarity (mine, mostly) I'm going to use the singular when talking about the authors.

What to do When Someone Dies begins with police officers on Ellie Falkner's doorstep. Her husband Greg has just died in a car accident. With a woman passenger that Ellie knows nothing about.

Nicci French does a fairly nice line in women-in-peril-but-no one-believes-her thrillers, but it's definitely a mistake to read too many all at once. However, they're pacy, well-written page turners.

But. What to do When Someone Dies gets bogged down for half the book in Ellie's grief. Which is understandable, and the kind of thing that happens in real life. But this isn't a grief handbook. It's a thriller, apparently, meaning that tragic deaths need to be handled a little ... callously to keep the action moving.

After nearly 200 pages of wading through Ellie's mad despair, it was a relief when things finally started happening _ things that were originally borne out of Ellie's mad despair but that should have started happening 100 pages before they did. However, they were finally starting to lead somewhere.

To be honest, the only reason I didn't give up on the book at the halfway mark was the quality of the writing. Page-turner is a phrase that gets tossed around a lot these days, but it applies here.

1 comment:

Jodie said...

Hmm I'm still split on whether to read this or not (mostly because it has such a great title, oh yes my book buying is based on sound, logical reasoning).