A Commonplace Killing, by Siân Busby

Another 99p Kindle deal of the day. This one is a book I had thought of reading before: written by Robert Peston's wife, and published posthumously, I'd heard it was good (not just from Amazon reviews).

The story is set in 1946, and follows a murder investigation: the narrative switches between the perspective of the police detective who's trying to solve the case, and the story of (what turns out to be) the victim and her life.

I did want to like this, at least partly because of the background to the book: Peston did the final work to complete it after his wife died, assembling the final chapter from the notes she'd left. But it didn't feel that strong to me - in fact, it had an unfinished feel as if this were an initial draft of the book, and it needed the author to go back through it and flesh it out and develop some characters/themes which had only been sketched at first.

For example, the police detective, who's got problems of his own, and so has somewhat of a distracted air, seemed like he could be made quite a bit more interesting, as could the young policewoman who's taken with him. I couldn't help feeling that you could make quite a bit more of this, and that while Peston may have found material that allowed him to complete the final chapter, this isn't the book that Busby would have been planning to hand to her publisher.

I might be interested to read another novel by Busby, because I think this one had promise, and so maybe her other work is better.

Completed : 17-May-2015

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