We've got the investigating detectives - about-to-retire Frank and hungry newbie Emma - initially mismatched but ultimately cultivating respect and affection for each other. We've got intrigue, sexual shenanigans, families coming apart, individuals breaking down under the pressure of hiding their murky true selves. We've got the deracinated, "this could be anywhere" language and atmosphere.
Our Wicklow village is the English-sounding Marwood; characters are called George and Alison, Olive and Matt; people speak only of "police" and "officers", not the Guards as we do in real life. We've got the standard writing style - flat, brisk, neutral. Dirty Little Secrets ticks all the boxes, then, which generally doesn't bode well for the reader. Art constructed according to a formula is never that appealing. All of this will give the impression that I didn't enjoy it.
However - and it's a big "however" - that would be erroneous. Damn it if this isn't one very entertaining novel. After 20 pages, I found myself wanting to know a bit more. By 50 pages, the story had me in its claws - escape looking increasingly improbable. By pages, I was completely hooked, and flying through the book in a madcap race to finish it and unearth all those titular dirty secrets.
Olive Collins is possessor of many of those, and connected to almost everyone else's.
She's just been discovered, dead, in her home in Withered Vale: the exclusive six-house development which grew up around Olive's long-standing cottage. Her body has lain there, decomposing, for three months; clearly the residents keep to themselves, and don't pop into one another's houses all the time.
Kindle Price: inclusive of all taxes includes free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet. Sold by: Amazon Asia-Pacific Holdings Private Limited. Haney exposes LPGA's dirty little secret considerable wealth and reputation as a golf expert should know better, and you'd get no argument.
Detectives Frank and Emma discover that Olive died from a heart-attack: nothing too suspicious for a woman in her mid-fifties. Then they discover that her gas boiler has been tampered with, and the windows and vents sealed shut: now they get suspicious. Thus begins the questioning of the neighbours.
Each has something to hide, and many had crossed swords with the victim in the days and weeks leading up to her death.
We meet alpha-vegetarian David and earth mother Lily; Matt the meek accountant and wife Chrissy, who's carrying on with raffish salesman Ron he was also sleeping with Olive ; George the Trustafarian with a pornography addiction; Ed and Amelia the sketchy retired couple currently sunning it up out foreign; nervous single mother Alison and her precocious but fragile daughter, Holly.
All are dodgy to some degree; all had a reason to want Olive dead. May Actions and Detail Panel D.
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