Review Blog

May 21 2014

Dead and Buried by Anne Cassidy

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The Murder Notebooks Series (Book 4), Bloomsbury, 2014. ISBN: 9781408815533.
Recommended for 14+. Themes: Justice; Murder Mystery; Crime and punishment. This is the concluding episode in The Murder Notebooks series and could easily be the source for an English television drama. In this book, a body of a teenager is discovered in the garden of the former home of the two young protagonists. The connections to their missing parents, (who were former police officers and who are missing - but have been revealed as rogue undercover agents, meting out their own justice against criminals who escape the justice system) causes the young people to investigate in order to clear their parents' name and to prevent them being unearthed by a contemporary police investigation. As a consequence, the young couple themselves become embroiled in the investigation. [Note: although they are not related, they grew up as if they were brother and sister, but now a blossoming romance is developing.]
Some suspension of disbelief is necessary at various points in order to overcome uncertainty about some plot details, however sometimes fiction does ask us to travel the roller-coaster without asking too many questions and just enjoy the ride. This will definitely be enjoyed by readers who enjoy police drama on Television. Solving the threads of the crime will keep them reading. I have only read the last two books of this series, but was given enough background detail to understand what had gone before. But I would encourage reading all books in the series in order. Anne Cassidy does create interesting characters, sometimes the descriptions of their small idiosyncrasies are a quirky feature; and the idea of administering justice personally does raise interesting moral questions. Would it ever be right to kill in order to prevent more killing? Would you reveal the truth if you knew this was happening? Would avenging the death of a friend feel just?
Note: there is violence - but in a book where you cannot see it, it does feel less confronting.
Carolyn Hull

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