A nice, quick read of short stories by Monica McInerney told in her usual easy, engaging style. A large part of the book is the novella 'Odd One Out',A nice, quick read of short stories by Monica McInerney told in her usual easy, engaging style. A large part of the book is the novella 'Odd One Out', so if you've already read it, the rest of the stories are quite brief.(less) ...more
The first thing I was struck by when I read this book was the striking similarity to the Kelli Lane case (involving a water polo player who was chargeThe first thing I was struck by when I read this book was the striking similarity to the Kelli Lane case (involving a water polo player who was charged with the murder of her baby when she couldn’t prove it had been “unofficially” adopted out). I’m not sure if this novel is loosely based on that or whether it’s just an eerie coincidence – in any case, whatever the inspiration for the plot, this book is an absolutely compelling read. One of the first things I really liked about this story was how quickly it got to the point, without any drawn out lead up. Jodie Garrow has been harbouring a secret for almost twenty five years and, as often happens, it is revealed in the most unlikely way – through a series of unusual events that all thread together to create a personal disaster. The impact on Jodie’s family is enormous. Suddenly the woman they have always known as a wife and mother is under huge public scrutiny and a vicious hate campaign. The kids are targeted at school and her husband, an aspiring mayoral candidate in their small community, has to put his political aspirations aside. While they publicly stand behind her, each struggles to deal with the bombshell and act out in their own way. Her husband struggles with panic attacks, her teenage daughter dabbles in drugs and alcohol and her son withdraws into himself. The story is told both in present time and flashback to the 1980s, when the lead up to Jodie’s unplanned pregnancy and subsequent birth occurred. This is done seamlessly, without creating any confusion in the plot. Newspaper articles and TV interviews are also weaved neatly into the storyline and are absolutely spot on in their depiction of how media speculation and public opinion converge to create a juggernaut that is almost impossible to control. The author captures a small community perfectly – the class structure, the weight of public expectation, the teenage ambition to escape and be anonymous. I had mixed feelings about Jodie. On the one hand I could sympathise with her appalling upbringing and could understand her desire to move up and better herself. On the other, I found her passivity disconcerting, especially when she just continued to go through the motions of her life without seeming to have any real emotional breakthrough. She was a fascinating character, though, and one I came to understand more as the novel built to its stunning conclusion. Overall The Mistake is an amazing book that had me hooked from start to finish and provided a huge amount of food for thought. From the precise writing style, to the realistic dialogue and the steady yet gripping pace of the storyline it is a real winner. ...more
Dr Anya Chrichton has just started freelancing in the male dominated field of forensic pathology, but work is sparse - until she is asked to look intoDr Anya Chrichton has just started freelancing in the male dominated field of forensic pathology, but work is sparse - until she is asked to look into the seemingly non-suspicious death of a teenage girl from a Lebanese background. A few minor details from the case are disturbingly similar to another case she is working on....then another and another. Too bizarre to be a conincidence, Anya realises she has uncovered some kind of sinister plot and more frighteningly, that a serial killer is on the loose.
I was a big fan of Patricia Cornwell's early work and this book reminded me a lot of that. With the strong female lead character working in the same male dominated field and the gory (yet fascinating) details of forensic pathology as the theme, I was hooked right from the beginning.
You really get a sense of Anya right from early on in the story and can sympathise with her as she struggles to cope not only with career challenges, but also personal ones, including having lost custody of her only child. I thought she was a well-developed character and can see the potential for growth as the series continues.
There is a fair amount of forensic/medical jargon within the storyline, but I didn't find it too bogged down in it. If you have read in this genre before, you would be familiar with most of it and if not, you do start to learn as you read. I enjoyed the Sydney setting and the realistic portrayal of the "boys club" when it comes to working with police and other related agencies.
The book has got a good pace to it and the suspense builds nicely as the story moves to its conclusion.
A great debut novel and I look forward to reading the other titles in the series....more