Susan Crawford (Faber) 2015, 303pp, RRP $29.99
Crawford’s début novel is an attempt at a page-turning psychodramatic thriller seen from the perspective of a protagonist we can’t truly trust (like Before I Go To Sleep), and while it’s goofily readable enough there are hoary clichés here that would have induced groans back in the 15th Century.
Dana Catrell is an outer-New-York housewife with a history of alcoholism and mental illness who awakens one humid evening to discover that her neighbour Celia has been murdered, and that she might have been the last person to see her alive. But is she the killer, and is she blocking the truth in her fevered mind due to the impending return of her bipolar disorder and/or the large amount of sangria she’s drunk? The grungy gumshoe on the case, Jack Moss, who’s right out of the pulps and has marital problems and an alienated son to boot, thinks Dana is mighty suspicious, but also investigates Dana’s surely philandering husband Peter and Celia’s oddly detached spouse Ronald, as we wonder who exactly the culprit is and, of course, become increasingly aware that it’ll be the character you least expect.
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