Tuesday, 11 September 2012

A Case to Answer by Margret Yorke

How do you feel, when you start reading a book and you realise that you have found your next favourite author? So much so even before you finish the book you want to go hunting for all the books by the author. And how do you feel after such promise the book doesn't live upto the expectations.

Let me make it clear, there is nothing as such wrong with the book. I bought the book from library crime book sale and expect the book to be a crime fiction, a murder mystery. The book's cover said Winner of the 1999 CWA Cartier Diamond Dagger, I would expect the book to be a mystery, wouldn't I? For all I know Margrer Yorke is a crime fiction writer.

A Case to Answer published in 2001 had all the elements I enjoy in a book. I liked the story telling. I was completely drawn into the book. I was involved with the characters. Many aspects reminded me of my favourite writer, Ruth Rendell. The Characters and situations that got me engrossed in the book. Newly widowed displaced woman who feels invisible, a teenage girl feeling unwanted unloved looking for some love, a boy who had a wrong start in life and is hoping to make the right turn, selfish step children, parents who don't want to take responsibility of their children. A handsome brother and a not so good-looking sister, a teen who wants to know if she was created in a test tube and crying for attention, who can go to any lengths to get the attention. All the elements of a perfect crime read. A writing style that gripped me, and compelled me to keep reading.

Charlotte Frost, newly widowed, displaced from a large family home to a small house in a new town by her step children is having difficulty in restarting her life. When her late husband's teenage grand-daughter Imogen is pregnant, her step children burden her with the responsibility of looking after her. Imogen gets friendly with Jerry, who decides to turn a new leaf after a brief stint in crime. And then Charlotte dies in an accident and Imogen is suspected. Imogen doesn't want to reveal her alibi. When she is not ready to help herself, who will prove her innocence?

There is no mystery. A murder and some dark motives would have hit the spot for me. The last few pages were really a chore to finish and I was hoping something would turn up, somebody with a sinister past, something that would make this an interesting mystery. Nothing. I would definitely read another Yorke but not very soon.

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