This is the first novel I’ve read by Dorothy Koomson, and despite the synopsis, I had anticipated a fairly light read.Reviewed at JudgingCovers.co.uk
This is the first novel I’ve read by Dorothy Koomson, and despite the synopsis, I had anticipated a fairly light read. What I got instead was a dark, incredible story that has easily earned itself a place as one of my favourite books.
As the story begins, Libby and her husband, Jack, have been in a car crash. Jack is OK, but Libby’s airbag didn’t deploy and she’s very lucky to have survived. While the crash could simply have been an unfortunate accident, there is an air of mystery surrounding the events of that day – because Jack’s first wife, Eve, also died in a tragic ‘accident’. And the police still aren’t sure she wasn’t killed on purpose.
Libby has always wondered whether she could live up to the love Jack felt for his first wife. She’s worried that she’d always be second best to the woman he lost so tragically early. Jack refuses to talk about Eve – but Libby’s lack of knowledge just fuels her unease. Perhaps the memories are just too painful… or perhaps he’s hiding something.
Housebound in the aftermath of her accident, Libby finds Eve’s diaries, hidden away where nobody should have found them. These pages hold all the secrets that Jack has never told her. Worryingly, there is also a chilling note from Eve: “if you’re reading this, it’s likely that I’ve been murdered.” Were the police right? Is Jack a killer?
The Woman He Loved Before is cleverly written from various viewpoints. At first, we mainly see Libby’s narrative, interlaced with flashbacks to how she first met Jack. Once she finds the diaries, Eve’s words take over. Koomson has also included short chapters of Jack’s thoughts, so we get to experience the emotions of all three main characters. The changing viewpoints allows Koomson to give us a perfect understanding of the feelings each character has, and the relationships between them. In different ways, I felt real sympathy for all three. Their reactions to the hardships in their respective lives are totally believable, and it is obvious how much thought the author has put into creating beautifully flawed characters.
Gradually discovering the truth of Eve’s life is, in my opinion, the best part of the novel. The secrets that come out of her diaries are quite dark, and I did have to take a couple of short breaks from reading it because I was feeling too depressed. With that said, the further into the book I got, the harder it was to put down. The gritty themes are handled brilliantly, and I genuinely couldn’t guess what was going to happen. At one particularly shocking point in the plot, I was so surprised I actually said, “Oh my God!” aloud. It was worth the strange looks.
I loved this book so much, I feel disappointed that it’s over. I almost wish I’d read it slower to prolong the enjoyment, but the dramatic nature of the story means that’s almost impossible. Must invest in some more of Dorothy Koomson’s books immediately....more
Like many book-to-movie adaptions, the film version of The Bone Collector cannot be compared to the terror Jeffery DeavReviewed at JudgingCovers.co.uk
Like many book-to-movie adaptions, the film version of The Bone Collector cannot be compared to the terror Jeffery Deaver creates in this chilling novel.
The Bone Collector is the first in a series of books about Lincoln Rhyme, a forensic criminalist who had to leave his beloved job in the police force after an accident left him paralysed from the neck down.
Depressed by his life as a quadriplegic, Lincoln is planning his suicide… until his old partner calls him with news of a murder. The killer has a mind for forensics, and he leaves staged clues at the scene of every crime that point to the location of his next victim. Once the best in his field, Lincoln is the only person with a chance of solving the puzzles in time to save their lives.
Unable to leave his bed, Lincoln overcomes the hindrance of his disability by using Amelia Sachs, a street cop, to act as his eyes at each crime scene. She ‘walks the grid’ (that’s police talk for ‘looks for evidence’) and reports back to Lincoln, who has to unravel the mysteries from his home. We learn a lot about these two characters throughout the book – neither are particularly happy people – but their interaction is a fascinating subplot, and the way their relationship develops adds a lot to the story.
This book is incredibly fast-paced once the murders get going, as the team race against the clock to find the next victim before it’s too late. Deaver creates an incredible tension as each grisly death is described in detail. I won’t lie, this is a scary read. The murderer kidnaps his victims using a taxi and drives them to the middle of nowhere, before causing their death in some elaborate and grotesque way… I now have a mild phobia about getting into a taxi alone. Oh, and he likes to cut out a piece of bone as a souvenir. Just in case you were wondering about the title.
If you’ve seen the film, I suggest you disregard it. The movie has less victims, different crime scenes, different characters… even the eventual identity of the killer is not the same as the book. I love crime thrillers, and whilst it’s been years since I first read The Bone Collector, it remains to be my favourite. With plenty of twists and turns throughout, this is a must-read for any fan of the genre....more