Thursday, February 8, 2007

TBR #3 Review: Deception by Denise Mina

This book was pretty good, as mysteries go. Being a psychotherapist, I always like a bit of psychological suspense. The book is narrated by the husband of a psychiatrist who has been convicted of murdering one of her patients. She worked at a state prison, and was seeing a convicted murderer who was set free and then became a murder victim himself. The husband is convinced that his wife did not commit the murder and snoops through her things to find something to base an appeal on. And thus begins the rollercoaster of suspense that is the basis of the book. Also, this couple has a 19-month old child, so it adds a heartwrenching twist as well.

There were a couple of things I didn't like about the book. First, in the process of going through all his wife's things, he comes across lots of articles and court documents. The author prints them in full for the reader, and about halfway through I just started skipping them. They didn't really add any element for me, and I thought the book could have done without them.

Also, the prologue and epilogue of the book are letters to the reader from Denise Mina. In these chapters, she presents the rest of the book as if it is a true crime story. Basically, she acts as if the bulk of the book is simply a journal that she came in possession of. I hate when authors do this. I can't figure out what's real. The book is fiction, so obviously it isn't really just the husband's journal. I'm thinking it is some sort of ploy by the author to make the reader feel like the story is more real? Anyway, I really don't like it, because it makes me feel a little stupid, like I can't figure out if it's fact or fiction.

But if you just want a quick mystery that will keep you on the edge of your seat, it's a great read. I read it in a day or two.


jay are said...

I'm always looking for a page-turner. I like to read them while I'm pedaling like the wind on the recumbant bike---makes the time go faster. I'll keep your review in mind (I agree with the trying-to-make-it-real factor. I hate when I'm not sure. So I'll assume the whole thing is fiction---cause it's a novel, so it must be...right?)

Orange Blossom Goddess (aka Heather) said...

I like the idea of the book but for the very reason you mention I probably wouldn't read it. I hate when a fiction novel is written to give you the impression it is a true crime or a memoir. Too obvious of a ploy for me. I don't mind when it is a written as a journal but sounds like the author went too far for my taste. Thanks for the great review!

jay are said...

Hey, what about "End of the Affair"? Do tell.