Friday, 19 August 2011

Go on, go on, go on ...

Read this, you'll love it ...

Proof of Life by Karen Campbell

Here be the review wot I wrote for the good peeps over at -

“The girl in the foyer could not hear them, could not possibly have heard Anna, or know that she was there through two thick doors, but her pale neck flexed and her head came up, longer and higher as her profile turned , as her face took form to stare directly at the camera.

And Anna's life, her future, froze.”

Chief Inspector Anna Cameron is a woman with everything to lose. Her life is finally back on track, but the mistakes she made in the past are about to come back to haunt her.

When a body is discovered in a Glasgow canal, the death proves to have an unexpected link to something Anna wants desperately to forget. As Glasgow pulses with the threat of terrorist attack and growing civil discontent, she realises everything she holds dear is at risk.

What did I make of it?

Verisimilitude is a very big word – and this book, and all the work of Karen Campbell just sings of it. You want to really know how a police investigation is carried out? Look no further than Ms Campbell if it is this kind of detail that sends your boat into a spin.

As well as all that detail you’ll get as fine a stylist as you’ll read this side of a poetry collection. Pick a page, any page and you’ll find an arresting phrase (pun intended) or a sentence that makes you go "ahhh". 

And then there’s the actual investigation, the need to know that carries the reader forward, and again with 
this element of fiction Karen Campbell comes up trumps. Simply said, she offers everything this reviewer looks for in a novel.

In Proof of Life we have multiple points of view, each invested with care and attention, each crucial to the story and each moving it on with delicious reveals at just the right point. And on this occasion Campbell works the successful trope of the detective and her loved ones being at risk, because of something she did in her past, providing a full-circle link to the first book in the series.

There’s an element to the story that I’m dying to talk about, but that would spoil it for you – I may just have to accost a total stranger in the street and demand they listen to me. Suffice to say when I finished the book and set it to the side, I said one word out loud...

... WOW!


  1. Proof of Life sounds like something I would like. Wasn't sure at first. Thought you were talking about that horrible Meg Ryan movie by the same name.

  2. Hey, LG - that's the problem with using a title that has already been used.

  3. Now that's a recommendation, Michael, to make us check out the book!

  4. Yeah - and its not hyperbole. That was my genuine reaction, Rosemary. Have you read any of karen's books?

  5. No, I haven't, but I will now! Haven't read as many crime novels more recently.

  6. Id like to invite you folks to come to Amish Stories for a recipe for "Famous Pennsylvania Dutch Sticky Cinnamon Buns" along with a book signing schedule for Amish fiction writer Wanda Brunstetter for Pennsylvania and Ohio as well as a contest to meet her. I hope everyone so far is having a great weekend. Thanks everyone. Richard from Amish Stories.

  7. As usual a great review meaning you made me want to pick it up. That was exactly the feeling I had with pg 169 of the book I mentioned. You just want to share it with somebody but not spoil it.