Read A Simple Death by Carolyn Morwood Free Online
Book Title: A Simple Death|
The author of the book: Carolyn Morwood
Edition: Women's Press (UK)
Date of issue: September 1st 2001
ISBN 13: 9780704347274
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 582 KB
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Reader ratings: 4.4
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Review published in the New Zealand Listener, 16 March 2002
A Simple Death
Women's Press $29.95
Reviewed by Philippa Jamieson
A dead body in the first few pages is always a good start to a murder mystery. A Simple Death, the third crime novel by Melburnian Carolyn Morwood, kicks off with a corpse by page two. Marlo and her friend and colleague Harold are walking through a Melbourne park when they find the body of a man Harold knows. Several interconnected relationships bring Marlo and Harold close to the dead man's family, and after another attack happens Marlo, although reluctant, feels compelled to do her own investigations.
As the plot thickens it seems more and more likely that the murderer is one of the dead man's family. This has resonances for Marlo, whose aunt was killed by a family member a year before, and she takes on the task of tracking down the murderer partly to come to terms with her own experience.
Many of the elements of a good murder mystery are present: an inquisitive protagonist, a snappy pace, puzzles to solve, and a cast of distinctive characters. The writing is fluent and easy to read but lacks suspense, and sags with numerous references to Marlo's previous experiences with murder in her family. Perhaps it would be better to read Morwoods other two novels first.
A Simple Death could hardly be called a thriller, as its cover announces. I read it alone at night completely unperturbed. The author sticks to a reasonably formulaic plot – not necessarily a bad thing – but there are subplots which go nowhere and Marlo's neglected sporting career and personal life seem like mere props to illustrate her personality.
The book did keep me guessing until near the end about the identity of the murderer, but when it was revealed I didn't have that sense of questions being answered and loose ends falling into place. More clues or red herrings would keep avid detective readers on their toes. Like a hamburger, this novel left me full but not totally satisfied.
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