Saturday 25 December 2021

First ever Christmas Day post...

I think this is the first time I’ve ever posted on Christmas Day, likely because in past years I’ve always been busy getting ready to spend time with family out of town.  But this year, I’m staying home while my husband goes on a solo visit to his parents’ place.  Since it is still foggy outside, I thought I should take a break from reading the new Anthony Horowitz mystery and make time to write before the weather clears and I can go for a long walk.  

Last week I was excited to get a copy of Michael Robotham’s latest book from the library.  When You Are Mine is a standalone psychological thriller that explores domestic abuse, toxic friendships, police corruption and organized crime.  Philomena McCarthy, a young detective constable with the London Metropolitan Police, seems to have it all.  She and the love of her life, Henry, have recently bought a house and are soon to be married.  She faces her share of struggles on the job, being a woman in a predominantly male profession, but she’s settling in and has found a few allies.  She also seems to have been successful in hiding her relationship with her estranged father, Edward McCarthy,  a notorious London gangster-turned-shady property developer.  When Phil and her partner Nish respond to a domestic call, they find themselves attempting to rescue Tempe Brown from her abuser, but Tempe insists that everything is fine.  Against advice to let it go, Phil pursues this case, even after being warned off because the abuser is Darren Goodall, a decorated high-ranking police officer who is hailed as a hero for saving lives in a knife attack.  Phil makes it her mission to go after Goodall and save Tempe, but of course things can’t end well and the situation spirals out of control.  Tempe becomes fixated on Phil, taking over her life and upcoming wedding and alienating her from her friends and from Henry.  A reporter is murdered, Goodall’s wife and children are threatened, and Phil is faced with a series of menacing occurrences.  Henry wants her to leave things alone, but Phil persists, and reluctantly calls on her father for help.  I don’t want to give too much away, so I’ll stop here.  I’ll say that this book took me a bit to get into, but once I did, I couldn’t put it down, and spent much of the past week reading.  It wasn’t quite as good as When She Was Good, which I think was my favourite Robotham book after his debut, The Suspect, but it was very complex, the characters were fully developed, there were multiple interesting and intertwining plots, and the main storyline dealing with domestic abuse was handled with knowledge and sensitivity.  I read the author’s note at the end, in which he talked about this issue, so this book was written with purpose and compassion.  I would highly recommend this to anyone who enjoys psychological thrillers or British mysteries.  I also think that anyone who enjoys novels with unreliable narrators or books about obsessive relationships would enjoy it.

That’s all for today.  I hope you have a Very Merry Christmas!

Bye for now…

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