Daily Archives: May 7, 2011

FRAGILE MINDS by Claire Seeber

Published by Avon (HarperCollins) – out now.

My first Claire Seeber novel, but certainly not my last – especially as I’ve been buying up her previous books since starting to read this latest one.

I think the comparison drawn on the back cover that it’s ‘A compelling read for fans of Nicci French and Sophie Hannah’ is well justified in this instance – the book has an unnerving quality and the reader just knows that more bad stuff is going to happen, but is left totally unsure as to which direction it may come from next or from which of the well-crafted characters.

Kicking off with a bombing outside the London School of Ballet, and all the parallels that draws to the real 7/7 attack in London, the book then follows a cast of characters with each being given alternate chapters in which to tell their part of the story as it unfolds.

The two key players in Fragile Minds are Claudie who works at the Ballet school and DCI Joe Silver – both are damaged characters before this tale even begins and both are characters I really enjoyed and would love to read more of.

The story plays on memory, and the loss of memory – a theme that seems fairly current in a few recent crime titles, characters having some knowledge of the horrific event, others digging into their memories to search for anything they think might actually link themselves to its execution.

If I had one criticism, and it is a very minor one, it’s that I found I lost my way a few times with characters who took new identities or who were revealed to not be who we first thought they were – but that may well be an effect of my own aged memory and bears little reflection on the quality of writing here and the great story that is Fragile Minds.

With a exclusive and very good short story at the back of the book too, Fragile Minds is highly recommended.

Read more about Claire and here work at  www.claireseeber.com

Keith B Walters

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Books and Writers has had a baby (sort of)….

Just to let you know that, due to the volume of great young adult and childrens books that have been received here (a good few of which have been being reviewed jointly by me and my children from time to time (particularly by my daughter who devours books by the day), a separate blog has been set up.

It’s over at booksandwritersJNR – hope you’ll stop by.

Keith

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