Amy L. Campbell's Reviews > Confessional

Confessional by Jack Higgins
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's review
Dec 03, 2010

liked it
bookshelves: forgotten-bookmark-win, 2010, blogged, reviewed
Read from December 14 to 15, 2010

Although the characters started out cardboard flat and just as bland, by the end of the book I really got a good feeling for the "bad guy", heretofore referred to as The Priest so as not to spoil his identity. The rest of the characters mostly remained paperdolls in The Priest's play, moving around as clever chess pieces to foil and ultimately thwart him. This is not a spoiler, so much as a trope of murder mysteries, so there. Ultimately however, The Priest does win in a way by redeeming himself and doing some good before his curtain call. The women in this novel actually stand out more than the men, mostly because there are so few of them, and because this was written in 1985, any spectacular women have to be especially so, simply because they are women. Still Susan Calder, Tanya Voroninova, and Morag Finlay are interesting and well defined individuals in a way that the men are not, which is a shame because we aren't even introduced to any of the female characters until about 80 pages in and there are wide gaps between them in some cases.

The plot was pretty typical of this genre and nothing really special. There's a bit of IRA thrown in there and some references to 30 year old Irish-English politics, but your basic political thriller with the usual "flavor" slapped all over it to disguise the fact you ate the same thing yesterday. Overall, the writing was pleasant enough and the dialog was actually intriguing in most places.

The reviewer is the author of the blog A Librarian's Life in Books.

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