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The Detective's Daughter

(The Detective's Daughter #1)

3.37  ·  Rating details ·  3,848 ratings  ·  373 reviews
Kate Rokesmith's decision to go to the river changed the lives of many. Her murder shocked the nation. Her husband never pressed charges and moved abroad under a cloud of suspicion. Her son, just four years old, grew up in a loveless boarding school. And Detective Inspector Darnell, vowing to leave no stone unturned in the search for her killer, began to lose his only daug ...more
Paperback, 470 pages
Published May 1st 2013 by Head of Zeus
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Kari I thought the same thing, but it was just one of dozens of things that made no sense whatsoever!

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3.37  · 
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 ·  3,848 ratings  ·  373 reviews

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Jan 27, 2014 rated it did not like it
This I my first review here, and it is written in some frustration. This book made me reconsider my lifelong mantra that I must finish every book I start (ridiculous I know!). This novel could have been written in less than a quarter of the words, even considering the attempt at an elaborate plot.

I was immediately put off by the over description, apparently 'blue t-shirt' or 'musky aftershave' simply will not do, as Thomson proceeds to over egg the already heavily egged pudding with her use of
Feb 26, 2014 rated it it was ok
Got lost at times with this book won her second book on goodreads reading it next just didnt like going back and forth lets see what next book is like.
Aug 21, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2013-books, kobo
I found this to be a frustrating read : enough interest to keep me reading, but too many flaws to keep me from enjoying it.. The author has a very distinctive voice and phrasing, and some of the scenes depicting loneliness and unease were very well done, as was the sense of place and atmosphere. The book is very much a character study of Stella and Jack, and a lot of time is spent on their feelings, relationship and past experiences. Unfortunately, I could not warm up to either of them and found ...more
Debby Hallett
Sep 02, 2013 rated it did not like it
Nope. Not the worst novel I've ever read or started to read. But pretty poor.

I heard that Elmore Leonard's advice to beginning writers was to leave out the bits that readers would skip over. There is a lot left in this book to skip over, and that should have been left out.

It took me three tries to get through this one. I do wonder how some authors manage to get their work accepted for publication. And I also wonder how it is that some readers (who I assume have read a lot of books) rate this o
I'll start out this review by saying that the writing reminded me a lot of that of Ruth Rendell.  You can't get much better praise from me, as she was one of my favorite authors EVER!

"The Detective's Daughter" has the feel of a police procedural mixed with a psychological thriller, though neither is in fact true.  What it IS is an excellent start to a mystery series that I plan to follow avidly. Since the sixth novel in the series has just been published, I have some serious catching up to do.

Kate Rokesmith died on Monday, 27 July 1981 and her case would go unsolved into the cold case files. But detective Terence Christopher Darnell was determined to find out what happened and pursued the investigation after his retirement which would end on Sunday, 9 Januray 2011.

For thirty years, the story would be dormant in police files, and all the people involved in Kate's life would continue with their lives. Her husband left the country, her four year old son landed up in a boarding school w
Aug 27, 2015 rated it did not like it
1.5 stars. Okay...I got through it!! I liked the premise (that's why I requested it), but, boy is the writing awful. I seriously wondered what the editor (Laura Palmer, I read the thank you's) was thinking letting some of this crap through. The author has no fluidity in her prose, just blunt sentences. I found this to be terribly off-putting and it made reading the book a chore for me. The characters were like caricature's of people, the timeline's would switch without giving you any indication ...more
Rory Stanbridge
Aug 27, 2013 rated it liked it
Have you ever read a book that when you have finished it you are not sure if you enjoyed it or not? Well, this is one of those situations. The story is very cleverly written and interwoven but I think you need to read it over a very short period, say 2-3 days maximum, to get the best out of it. It took me nearly three weeks to read it which on its own is an indication that it did not grab me that much. To be fair I did not know what the end was going to be until it hit me but that might have bee ...more
Babus Ahmed
Jul 12, 2013 rated it liked it
Although I found the central theme of the book the murder of Kate Rokesmith intriguing, I found this book rather slow and drawn out. I don't expect a high octane read every time I pick up a book but even when I thought I was near the end there was over an hour of reading to go.

I did like the way in which the characters were brought to life and the detailing here added to the story very much, however the suspenseful parts had me thinking, "get on with it!"

Overall a decent mystery but parts were
Feb 12, 2016 rated it did not like it
This is a very strange book. I can’t tell if it was just badly edited, badly proofread or if I’m genuinely missing something. The story feels very disjointed and there are so many poorly written sentences that made me stop reading in mid-paragraph and go back and try again. And again. This made the story hard to concentrate on and I found it very easy to lose track of what was going on.

The premise is pretty good. Stella Darnell’s father DCS Terry Darnell investigated the “crime of the decade” t
Garry Stevens
Jul 27, 2016 rated it did not like it
First, the good news: Some American reviewers have had difficulty with a very few specific British terms such as "lych gate". As an Aussie, I have no idea what a lych gate is, and do not care. It has no bearing on the plot. If you are so distraught at encountering a word you have never heard on your local hillbilly TV news, then stop reading crime fiction, and return to perusing sales catalogs.
Second, the bad news. Charles Dickens himself would blush at the ludicrous coincidences that this book
R.P. Rochford
Sep 29, 2013 rated it it was ok
2 stars on Goodreads (3 on Amazon) only because 2 stars is tagged as 'OK' here.

After the first couple of chapters I was ready to give up but the story got marginally better later on.

Good points:
It's a detective story which rattles along without getting bogged down in technical detail. At no point does it really sound like a police report!
Every loose end is tied up at the conclusion leaving nothing to the imagination - I guess that's a good point.
The story grabs the reader because, although the
Oct 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Lesley Thomson was a new author for me but I'm hooked and I'm ready to read book 2 in Detective's Daughter series. This was a fast-paced, suspenseful mystery, packed with emotion. Stella as well as Jack Harmon have definitely got some issues from their pasts to resolve. I found myself hoping that if they could just solve the mystery of Kate Rokesmith's murder, they might actually feel peace at last.
I love to try to figure out "who done it" in mysteries and this one left me puzzled. This also
Rachel Morrow
Read as part of the PopSugar reading challenge in the category 'A book that’s been on your TBR list for way too long'
Excited to be able to finally read this but overall sad to say I didn't really enjoy this book. The internal reflective sections didn't add any real value, pace too slow and a predictable plot ending. I won't be reading the next few books in this series.
Rebecca Goulding
Mar 27, 2018 rated it did not like it
I did not enjoy the writing of this book. At times it was hard to follow the story. The story itself is ok, but there are too many characters who are poorly defined and too many words. I think that varying sentence structure is really important to make writing easy to follow, and Lesley does not do that. She describes things in painful detail. The ending dragged on for ever because she describes irrelevant things like the wall and spider webs, when we just want to find out who killed Kate, even ...more
Mar 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was so much better than Ghost Girl. I loved the way Stella developed a relationship with her father after he died, with flashbacks and appreciated him more as she solved the case. Also I liked getting to know Jack without knowing who he really was till much later in the book. And how Jack and Stella helped each other grieve at the end. And jumping back and forth in time wasn't as confusing as in Ghost Girl. In fact I liked following Terry's investigating up to his death to see how far ...more
Sep 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
For 30 years Terry Darnell has been investigating, even into his retirement years, the murder case he could never quite let go of or solve. When he passes away it’s left to his daughter to organize what is left of his life. When she discovers that he has been investigating this case for all these years even when it has caused him to lose his family, she can’t help but be bitter. Even as she decides to try and solve this case herself the murdered woman’s son is also trying to find who took his mo ...more
Jun 27, 2013 rated it it was ok
I liked the premise of this book - daughter of a policeman continues his enquiry into an unsolved murder from the 1980s following his death - but I found it quite difficult to read. I don't know if this was due to the writing style or the fact that I kept picking it up and putting it down and as such I lost track.
Betsy Watts
May 29, 2017 rated it liked it
I overall liked the story but the words did not flow smoothly at times and I had to reread some sentences. I had an ebook version so maybe some words were missed??? I also felt some of the clues did not get entirely explained. For example, the dentist wearing makeup - not sure why. Or where the money in the cash machine came from. It was mentioned later in the book but there was no reason why it was left there. The truck left in the English Channel wasn't found until 80 years later but the it wa ...more
Joanne Sheppard
Sep 27, 2013 rated it it was ok
I chose this book because I wanted a crime novel that I would be able to race through fairly quickly, but which would still have a bit more to it than a standard murder mystery. Unfortunately, it didn't entirely meet those criteria. The set-up is intriguing and the main character is refreshingly different from the average heroine, but I didn't find The Detective's Daughter by Lesley Thomson a gripping read.

Stella Darnell is an independent, practical, emotionally rather cold - some might even say
Jul 18, 2018 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 29, 2016 rated it liked it
This was extremely long!  There were parts of it that seemed to have already been told, but by the end the information all came together to form the making of a good story.  I think because this was so long, and I was listening to it rather than reading, it was easy to get a little lost.  If I had been reading this I may have gone back and re-read parts.  Having said that I enjoyed the narration and ability to listen while I worked on my housework and gardening. 

The characters were interesting.
Nov 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
Stella Darnell resented her dad, Terry, for leaving the family when she was young and for the time he devoted to his job as a detective both on the police force and after retirement as he tried to solve a 30 year old cold case, that of Kate Rokesmith. Her husband had been the main suspect but there wasn’t enough evidence to convict. In an attempt to protect him, he had sent their son, Justin, just four years old at the time of the murder to a boarding school where he was bullied.

Now Terry has d
Cleopatra  Pullen
Aug 10, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: crime
Stella is the detective's daughter, Terry her father spent the last 30 years trying to find out who killed Katherine Rokesmith without success causing Stella to feel the dead woman was more important than she was.

It took me a while to get into this book, I found the first part very confusing to place the characters and nearly abandoned it, I'm glad I didn't as this book has a lot to offer. The premise of this book is inspired; I even grew to like Stella, the owner of a cleaning company as she tr
Jan 20, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Incoherent and irritating.

Despite the excellent reviews on Amazon, I really struggled with this book. Although the book started well, I then found the multiple voices used in the early chapters incoherent rather than intriguing, and disruptive to any sense of narrative flow.

When we do return to the main thread and key character, the author wastes two pages telling us about her dental appointment - she has a sore tooth, her secretary books an appointment , she doesn't like the whining of the dr
John Lee
May 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
I have two questions about this book. Why did I chose it for my bookshelf? and why has it taken me so long to read it?

On an ereader it isnt so easy to tell, but I imagine that 7000+ locations suggests a longer , rather than shorter, novel. As is my wont, this is the first of a series and from first reading the precise it was one I wanted to read.

Unusually for me, the switching of narrative between times and locations and circumstances didnt put me off and I was able to follow the story. All the
Charles Beddingfield
Feb 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
A Marmite read (UK expression), loved and hated equally by reviewers (try reading a few). Not exactly a detective mystery, though there is a mystery solved. Very complicated plot. Took me several chapters to get the hang of Lesley’s peculiar characters and the minute detail of their puzzling lives. Take, for instance, the weird London underground train driver who secretly lives in other people’s houses (while they are present, mark you, without their noticing). In the course of developing this c ...more
Mar 18, 2013 rated it it was ok
It is an intriguing concept - cleaning out the home of her estranged father, recently deceased Detective Inspector Terry Darnell, Stella stumbles across the notes for the unsolved case that obsessed him, that drove the final wedge between them as it took all his attention and left none for her.
Stella is an ambitious woman, with her own cleaning agency; methodical, logical and organised, she becomes engrossed in understanding and solving this case, as a way to prove to her father that she could s
Feb 15, 2018 rated it did not like it
Utterly terrible. The eponymous Daughter has to be thoroughly inept as a detective in order for the whole thing not to be over within 20 pages. She rackets pointlessly from place to place, generally ending up somewhere dark and dangerous and she STILL HASN’T BOUGHT HERSELF A NEW TORCH. All the characters have the same interior voice, which makes it hard either to distinguish or to care about them. Oh, and those places! None of them credible, all of them feeling written out of a mixture of Google ...more
Leonie Byrne
Feb 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I don't understand how some people have rated this book as less than 5* I am a big reader of crime fiction and I have to say that for a freebie as well this was one of the best I've ever read.

This book had everything! Lots of plot twists and turns, secrets, lies and mystery. Everyone was a suspect it was unknown right until the end how certain things panned out. There was the right level of creepiness, although about 20% from the end I started to figure out who it was I think this was the autho
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Recommendations 1 2 Jan 14, 2019 01:14PM  

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Lesley Thomson was born in 1958 and grew up in London. She went to Holland Park Comprehensive and the Universities of Brighton and Sussex. Her novel A Kind of Vanishing won The People's Book Prize in 2010. Lesley combines writing with teaching creative writing. She lives in Lewes with her partner.

Other books in the series

The Detective's Daughter (6 books)
  • Ghost Girl (The Detective's Daughter, #2)
  • The Detective's Secret (The Detective's Daughter, #3)
  • The House With No Rooms (The Detective's Daughter, #4)
  • The Dog Walker (The Detective's Daughter, #5)
  • The Death Chamber (The Detective's Daughter Book 6)
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