Mary, Mary, by Ed McBain

Mary, an ex-teacher, is seen apparently burying a child in her garden, and is arrested when police find three bodies buried there. Many witnesses testify to having seen Mary abducting the children, but one of her old pupils is convinced Mary couldn't have done it, and engages an attourney to defend her.

I had picked this up expecting it would be an 87th precinct book, like Money, Money, Money but it wasn't. Looks like this is one of a series of books focusing on this attourney. This book was OK but not fantastic. The story alternated between courtroom scenes and the private life of the attourney Matthew Hope. Some of it was in the first person, with the Hope explaining about how he felt convinced of his client's innocence; some was in the third person, and there were short extracts (which I reckon were probably written in italics) that were thoughts of the actual murderer.

The courtroom stuff was most interesting, although I suppose if that had been the whole book it might have seemed a bit dull, and so I assume that's why the relationship stuff came in - things about his girlfriend, ex-wife etc.. This presumably ties in with the other books in the series but felt a bit irrelevant in this book.

For most of the book I really quite enjoyed the story (especially the court-room scenes). It was nice to have a mystery type story to get into. Towards the end, the book started to lose credibility in quite a big way, and the "solution" made it seem pretty dated: I'd have guessed the book was written in the 70s, and so am a bit surprised to find it was actually published in 1992.

OK but I'm not sure I'd be that bothered about more Matthew Hope books.

Completed : 04-Mar-2007 (audiobook)

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