Title: Trial by Fire (A Helen West Mystery) Author: Frances Fyfield Genre: Crime/Mystery/Thriller Publisher: Witness Impulse, an imprint of HarperCollins Publication Date: August 5, 2014 Event Organized By: Literati Author Services, Inc.
~ Synopsis ~
A woman’s body is found decomposing in a shallow grave, stab wounds to the neck and blows to the head and shoulders. She is identified as Yvonne, missing wife of local property developer John Blundell. When Antony Sumner, English teacher and Yvonne’s lover, confesses to striking her down with his walking stick, it looks like an open and shut case for Detective Superintendent Geoffrey Bailey. Too much so thinks Crown Prosecutor Helen West. Sumner denies murder - and where is the knife? And when Helen and Geoffrey dig deeper into the secrets of the sleepy commuter village what they discover is a hidden world of passion, envy and betrayal.
I had a hard time rating this one. I kept going back and forth. I am still a little shaking on a "rating" per say. If I had to, I would give it 3.75 stars. It's definitely not a 3-star, but I am leery of a 4-star.
This book is good. It really is. However, there is tooo much description in places there didn't need to be. This made the book harder to read. I couldn't stay focused once the author started describing the characters. Sometimes there is a such thing as too much detail. This right here is what makes it hard for me to give it a solid 4-stars.
Overall, I did enjoy this book. I wasn't a fan of the characters. Which, I think that was the point? Maybe. Maybe not. Either way, a good mystery and thriller is always on the menu whether the characters are likable or not.
I grew up in rural Derbyshire, but my adult life has been spent mostly in London, with long intervals in Norfolk and Deal, all inspiring places. I was educated mostly in convent schools; then studied English and went on to qualify as a solicitor, working for what is now the Crown Prosecution Service, thus learning a bit about murder at second hand. Years later, writing became the real vocation, although the law and its ramifications still haunt me and inform many of my novels.
I’m a novelist, short story writer for magazines and radio, sometime Radio 4 contributor, (Front Row, Quote Unquote, Night Waves,) and presenter of Tales from the Stave. When I’m not working (which is as often as possible), I can be found in the nearest junk/charity shop or auction, looking for the kind of paintings which enhance my life. Otherwise, with a bit of luck, I’m relaxing by the sea with a bottle of wine and a friend or two.