‘Final Betrayal’ by Patricia Gibney

Detective Lottie Parker (Book 6)

I’ve read all the previous Lottie Parker books by Patricia Gibney and really enjoy this series, so for a richer reading experience start with ‘The Missing Ones’. It was great to be back with Lottie in Ragmullin on her latest case. It centres around a serial killer who is after young girls. As always there’s a lot of Lottie’s personal life in the story, I like this, and enjoy following the ups and downs of her complex and highly stressful life! I didn’t find I wanted to grab and shake Lottie so much in this book; she has been known to drive me crazy at times! It’s good to see her trying to let in the good influences, like Boyd and come to terms with the past loss in her life. It is frustrating to see this journey take such a long time, but grief is frustrating and seems never-ending. Lottie is now finding a way to move on for her sake and for those around her.
So back to the crime – there are threads in this story that will eventually collide: a man is released from prison after serving a 10 year sentence; two women go missing after a night out and are found murdered; a property developing team find something disturbing whilst building and for Lottie someone from the past is able to return and once again threaten both herself and her family.
I think my main ‘eye-roll’ (sorry Patricia) is that Lottie’s children are again in danger – boy are they an unlucky bunch! I like to see them in these books and their continuing story, but I think I am starting to be pulled out of the story when it’s one of the family that is in danger again? They’d need a permanent councillor living with them to cope – lol!
Anyway, besides from that, I always enjoy these books and am really looking forward to the next one. Many thanks to Patricia Gibney for all her work on creating these for us! I’m a happy reader!

‘The Porpoise’ by Mark Haddon

I can’t say that I enjoyed this book. It’s a dark tale and initially I was very engaged with the story-telling of the shocking birth of Angelica, and her father dealing with the aftermath of the loss of his wife and son. The father’s increasing obsession with his daughter into abuse provides disturbing reading. The reader is then thrown into another narrative at the turn of a page; this is the story of Pericles and we are suddenly in ancient Greece and another story takes over. I must admit I was really confused there for a while! The confusion also deepens when we enter a new addition of Shakespeare and his collaborator of his Pericles story – this third addition didn’t really work for me. Each tale links but you do have to work hard as a reader!

It’s certainly an unusual narrative, and a puzzle to read; it’d be an interesting piece to study with students, particular the parallels Haddon is creating through the multiple narratives.
For an enjoyable, escape from reality read – nope, not at all. If you are interested in mythology and after a complex, not pleasant tale weaving narrative threads that connect into one story, whilst giving the brain a thorough workout – then yes, go for it!
Published in May 2019