Friday, May 17, 2013

An Escape

We all have times in our lives when we need a book to give us a temporary respite from reality, and that's what Charlotte Link's The Other Child gave me. Nothing works better at those times than a British murder mystery. Don't ask me to empathize, don't ask me to analyze, just lure me in with two murders (same killer? copycat?), a charming (but menacing?) farm in rural Yorkshire, a host of characters whose back stories slowly unfold as motives and clues swirl around. The narrative stretches backward to World War II, when London children were evacuated to the countryside to avoid the Blitz, and forward to the present day. And just to complicate things, Link opens the book with a scene from 1970 which seems to connect with nothing that follows.

As with all Brit murder mysteries, a rural DI must unravel the clues. I would have liked DI Valerie Almond to be a little more quirky (I guess I've spent too much time with Christopher Foyle and Jack Frost), but Link has constructed a tightly woven psychological thriller that provided me a much needed escape.

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