It starts off with a dinner party. What follows involves murder, kidnapping, body-snatching and enough twists and turns to make your head spin. But given that there’s a pretty major surprise at the end of chapter one, I can’t say much more than that.
Fidelis Morgan is a multi-talented individual. An actress, playwright and novelist, this is her foray into modern-day crime fiction – she has previous written four humorous historical mystery novels featuring Countess Ashby de la Zouche. I came across her because her PR agency asked me to review this book. As we’ve established previously, I rarely say no, and this one sounded intriguing. So, what can I say about it without blowing the twists?
To summarise, this narrative jumps from character to character with respect to the point of view, taking in most of the characters from the opening dinner party as suspicion over the behaviour over one of them grows and seeming coincidences start piling up. Soon an additional threat materialises and it becomes something of a race against time for the plot threads to dovetail together. As each chapter bounces from character to character, the ever-changing point of view keeps the story fresh and moving forwards.
This is written with a light touch but it is a totally engrossing read. While there are elements of humour here, Morgan never forgets that this is a crime thriller, and there is a genuine sense of danger for most of the characters, whether it be from an external source or of their own making.
As a mystery, the question is primarily “what is actually going on?” rather than “whodunnit”, but there is an element of that as well. Despite the unconventional format – well, unconventional for what I usually read – this works very well, and despite having to accept some massive coincidences – notably in the finale – is a complete success. The characters are convincing – one possible exception is the dim Lisa who seems a bit too dim at times – and this is an extremely enjoyable read. Highly recommended.
Oh, and it’s currently only £1.25 on Kindle. Meanwhile, I’m off to have a look at Morgan’s historical mysteries.