26 September 2019

Review: SLEEPING PARTNER, James Humphreys

  • this edition published by Macmillan 2000
  • ISBN 0-333-90106-1
  • 359 pages
  • source: my local library
Synopsis (Fantastic Fiction)

A ...courtroom thriller, seen through the eyes of the accused. A ... debut novel from a very promotable young author, whose day job is at 10 Downing Street.

Clarissa Morland is twenty-seven, attractive, shy - and standing trial for the murder of her ex-lover John Grant. John was shot at dawn as he answered the door of his isolated farmhouse. But Clarissa has no memory of this. All she can remember is being cut free from the wreckage of her car that same morning, after what looks like a frantic getaway. As intimate details of her life and relationship are laid bare for the court, even Clarissa finds it hard to believe she is innocent. But murdering the man she loved in cold blood? She's just not that evil - is she?

My take

It has been nearly nine months since the murder of John Grant and Clarissa Moorland still has no memory of the day. She was found in her wrecked car, badly injured, shortly after John's body was discovered. She spent weeks in hospital and eventually the police charged her with the murder.

This novel gives an account of her trial. She does not know whether she is guilty of John's murder or not as she simply has no memory. The police prosecutor wants to prove the case that they have built up but it becomes very obvious that once they latched onto the possibility of Clarissa's guilt, the police did not follow up other possibilities. It is almost as if they concluded she was guilty and then set about fitting the facts to their conclusion.

The witnesses for the prosecution include those who want to make a name for themselves, and among the witnesses are surprisingly some people who believe Clarissa is innocent. There are of course those who are carrying out their own private vendetta.

The story is rather slow at times as Clarissa considers the idea that she may be guilty and looks at what the future may hold for her. Despite the slow pace, it raises some interesting considerations, and made intriguing reading.

I think I will definitely be looking for another by this author.

My rating: 4.3

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