Given chats recently instigated by Daniel about reader participation - what about we have a go at a discussion about this book.

I mention it because I've noticed it in a lot of posts recently so it might be something that's interesting for a number of readers.

If anyone is interested, we could go with something general - anyone ask questions / contribute views about the book and see where we end up.

As my contribution I noticed some comments elsewhere about the style of the characterisations - particularly Rob - he's been regarded highly by a number of female readers. What did everyone else think of the two main police characters?

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I haven't read it yet, but it was $16 at Target and I almost got it but I'd never heard of it. Now the price is back up.

The cover fascinates me, especially how they've blackened the edges of the paper. I found that after holding the book for a only a couple of minutes, it left black marks on my fingers, like ash.

I think that's the real reason I want to get it.
It is a rather interesting packaging job isn't it. It's a pity you didn't grab it - it's a great book, obviously a first novel but I'm really enjoying it (I should have finished it by now but I got distracted by Shane Maloney's Sucked In).
Not got round to reading this yet - it's even been in my local library, but I've been a bit put off by the whole "child" thing. Why do you think it's an obvious first novel Karen?
The only minor, very very very minor quibble is that it's a bit wandery in a few places - sort of that first book phenomena you get where there's a LOT of stuff in there that perhaps could have been clipped a bit to keep up the pace.

But it's very minor and it's the only thing that sort of says "first book" to me Laura.

As Margot said the "child" thing is handled sensitively and shouldn't be something that puts you off - in fact it's very enlightening / interesting.
How did you feel about the relationship between Ryan and Maddox Margot - I thought that was a really interesting twosome - very different from the "will they / won't they" sort of goings on that you get in other partnerships of that nature.
Sorry - it is the two main characters - Cassie and Rob (Adam).

You're right about the way the reaction was switched - somebody commented in another chat about this book about how "feminine" Rob is - which is interesting in this context.

I also liked the inclusion of Sam in the "inner circle" - created another balancing factor for a friendship / good working relationship.

How did you find the slowness of the investigation itself? I'm enjoying it - it seems to be muddling along, with no obvious leads to follow - no energiser bunny feeling to the whole thing.
Thanks for the strong recommendation!
I agree with you about how realistic the investigation feels - and you're right - the story is partially about the relationships between all the characters - including the past.

I really like some of the cameo character appearances as well - the old lady (CRS Strikes - can't remember her name) that has lived in the Estate for years - gave them Sandra's name...
I loved this book...I didn't care for Rob (ok maybe didn't trust him is more accurate)..I felt all along that he had some serious issues surrounding the incident "in the woods" that prevented him for doing his job as a partial observer (investigator) in this case...but that is a minor quibble...he stated at the outset that he lied and I guess that can mean not only to us but to himself and others. I think he treated Cassie like a used dish rag and didn't care for his attitude after that.

I am in agreement with Karen though that this book often has too much to tell us...and because the writing was so good I just let it take me in the direction she wanted to take me and not question a lot...but it tended to sometimes lose focus on the main find Katy.

Reading this I sound pretty critical but I really....really enjoyed her voice and look forward to another on by her
Andrea / Patricia

I love these discussions!

You've both put your finger on something that I've been dithering around about - there is something NQR about Rob isn't there - is he too good to be true / is he hiding something .....

I suspect this is part of why this is a good book for a lot of readers - you can "see" all sorts of stuff in it.
Margot...I think that is exactly Ms. French's intention...she sets Rob up to be "slightly off". I still keep wondering how someone that was involved in such a large unsolved scandal could still have not been noticed on such a murder investigation...somewhere along the lines he had to have had his real name and info when he started with the police...I can't buy the fact that they wouldn't do a background check on why put him right in the midst of something that could possibly cause him to have a breakdown/meltdown or suffer more trauma than he did the first time around..

I still liked the book but had to stretch my disbelief on this point...I still say Ms. French is a talented storyteller and look forward to her next book.
Me too Patricia (looking forward to her next book). There's something very engaging about the tone and the characterisation that lets you roll through the odd distant flirtation with a shark tank :)


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