Bluethroat Morning [Hardcover] Review

Bluethroat Morning [Hardcover]Jacqui Lofthouse, Bluethroat Morning (Bloomsbury, 2001)
Jacqui Lofthouse's second novel has faded into obscurity at an amazing rate (Amazon will still let you add it to your cart, but when it comes to actually shipping the thing...). This is truly a travesty of justice, for Bluethroat Morning is the best literary mystery I've read in a very long time.
Harry Bliss' wife, Alison, committed suicide six years ago by the rather odd method of stripping, walking into the ocean, and drowning. It takes a lot to drown yourself while not weighted down. (Try it sometime.) His life since has been almost cloistered, nothing but work and sleep. Until, that is, he meets his best friend's daughter, a nineteen-year-old who happens to bear a striking resemblance to Harry's grandfather's second wife, about whom Alison's second novel was going to be about before she killed herself in the middle of writing it. Helen, the daughter, is vicariously attracted to Harry through being one of Alison's legion of fans; it's almost inevitable the two of them begin a torrid affair. This is the lynchpin that drives Harry to the understanding that he must find out what happened in the two weeks before Alison's death, while she was on working holiday at the resort town of Glaven, in order to get on with his own life.
Bluethroat Morning is plotted with such an intricacy that the reader will start seeing symbolism in every word (how much of it is red herring I will leave to you to discover) and start reading ominous gestures into every action taken by every character, major or minor. The subplots and various threads of the mystery are skillfully woven, with nothing left unresolved at any point and every character eventually finding a use, even the red herrings. All this combines with Lofthouse's easy economy with words and direct approach to the subject matter to create a book both complex and readable, not an easy thing to find. Hovers a little on the "tell" side of "show, don't tell" now and again, but that's the book's only flaw (and it is a minor one; never more than a few toes over the line). Absolutely astonishing, and highly recommended. A candidate for the year's ten best reads list. ****

Click Here to see more reviews about: Bluethroat Morning [Hardcover]

Buy cheap Bluethroat Morning [Hardcover] now


Post a Comment