A Kiss Goodbye, by Jane Adams

Robert Carr is an artist who has made a career by painting the same subject over and over again: the mysterious Anna, who he hasn't seen for thirteen years. His agent decides that the public interest can be exploited by finding Anna, and manages to locate her in time for her to appear as a guest on a This is Your Life type TV programme. For the first time in over a decade, Robert meets his muse. But that night, she's murdered.

Sounds like quite an interesting setup, and for a while it seemed that the book could be quite good. But what a let down. It was as if the author couldn't think of a good way for the story to develop.

When Anna is killed, Robert is bewildered, and cannot understand what has happened. Initially a suspect, the assigned detective fairly soon discounts Robert as a possible killer and starts to focus on the group of friends that went around with Robert and Anna all those years ago. Then one of them is killed.

After some time, we discover that Anna left the scene shortly after a mysterious death, and that Robert's other friends might have had something to do with it. My problem here is that this appears just to be dropped into the story with no pre-amble: there's no hint that anything shady preceded Anna's disappearance for the first half of the book, so there's no way before this that the reader could have worked out what might have been going on.

The actual whodunnit then unravels fairly mechanically.


Completed : 8-Jan-2008 (audiobook)

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