7 April 2008

BYE BYE BABY, progress report

BYE BYE BABY is the debut crime thriller by South Australian author Lauren Crow.
It is quite a long novel , just over 500 pages, and I have been taking my time in reading it.
Maybe writing about it will help me sort some of my ideas out.

Three months after Mike Sherriff of Louth was found brutally murdered in Lincoln, another man is found dead in Hackney Marshes in a public toilet. Both men are in their early 40s. The MO for these otherwise unconnected but grisly murders appears to be the same. Scotland Yard is putting together a high level taskforce to deal with both cases under DCI Jack Hawksworth. Jack gets to choose his own team called Operation Danube and their headquarters will be on the 12th floor of Tower block overlooking the Thames.

The novel begins with the first murder, from the point of view of the murderer, and so far Crow has been dropping tantalising clues about who this person is. Nearly 250 pages in, I think I know who the murderer is, and even why the murders are happening. But if the murderer is successful, there are at least 2 more to come, which may explain why it is going to take 250 more pages for this story to end.

There are interesting tensions in the members of the Operation Danube team: Kate Carter, as sharp as a tack, holds a real torch for Hawksworth, despite the fact that she is engaged to be married. Kate sees any other female as a rival and almost stalks Hawksworth after hours. She particularly sees DS Sarah Jones, a rather dowdy young woman who is an expert on HOLMES, as a threat to the boss's good books. Jack Hawksworth himself appears to have a history of flouting the rules.

So far there are a number of side stories, all connected presumably, by gossamer threads to the main cases, that are described and told in great detail. Perhaps that is what is slowing my reading down, I am having trouble deciding what I need to remember and what I can skip over quickly. However, now half way through, some threads are beginning to strengthen and converge, and I feel more at ease than I did 100 pages ago.

For more about Lauren Crow go here. The publisher Harper Collins have a blurb here.

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