Despite the rapid pace at which I tore through this novel—it was just too good to put down—the actual solving of the crime is a slow, suspenseful rise and fall. Reading The Trespasser feels like playing Chutes and Ladders. I work my way towards the goal, find something exciting that lets me climb up the ladder toward the answers, then hit a snag and slide right back to the beginning,
Redling’s fast-paced novel is full of well-wrought scenes, including one in which Anna’s artist father finds her colouring an outline of a Cezanne that she saw at an art museum. He flies into a rage and destroys her prized book because she is colouring rather than creating.
While Ryan hasn’t convinced me that there is no suspense in love, no love in suspense, she’s shown she’s less a muckraker than her credentials makes her out to be in her stories focused on political scandal, police corruption, and institutions which create the circumstances for felonious activities.
For those who study fiction, form, or genre, Like Family should be required reading. It begins as a tribute but morphs into a eulogy for love itself, a stark realization that passionate and all-consuming love is far beyond the narrator, maybe beyond modernity. The story invites such an epic statement, but it also keeps us in check.
Marwood makes clever use of cliffhanger endings and shifts from one point of view character to another to build suspense. The Epilogue begins grimly, showing Cher back in the social welfare system, but surprises us with a gratifying conclusion. Readers who enjoyed Marwood’s earlier mystery/suspense novel, The Wicked Girls, will like this one for its many surprises.
As a reviewer, books show up in my letterbox and I know I must read them soon to turn them around in a reasonable time frame. Occasionally it’s a chore. Vengeance is Now arrived in my letter box on a Friday. I picked it up after work. On Saturday morning I opened it, intending to read the first chapter to see what I’d be in for. By Sunday morning I’d finished reading the whole book. It’s one of ‘those’ – those rare books that you can’t put down until you get all the way to the end.
The sensationalism of the tabloids further degrades society. Kirsty is low on the journalism food chain and must write what fits her newspaper’s slant: “Her job is to find fifteen hundred words of the sort of Sunday feature that makes readers feel better about their own lives…No town where a killer is on the loose is allowed to be a nice town; it’s an unwritten law.” Later in the novel, when a serial killer is caught, the media whips the public into such a frenzy that a mob pursues his common-law wife after she visits him in jail.
The launch of Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine in 1941 was a break-through for women writers in that the editors published not only hardboiled and noir detective fiction, which was mostly written by men, but also domestic crime and suspense stories, at which women excelled. Weinman’s authors won “Edgar” nominations from the Mystery Writers of America, founded in 1945. Some of them wrote best-sellers, including novels that became motion pictures (such as Vera Caspary’s Laura). In Weinman’s view, these authors are no longer remembered, unlike some male writers like Dasheill Hammett and Ross Macdonald, because their domestic subject matter has not been taken seriously.