Saturday, 25 February 2006

Lesley Grant-Adamson, Flynn (Faber, 1991)

Lesley Grant-Adamson is a well-known British crime writer and Flynn is her seventh novel; she has clocked up fifteen so far - the latest being Undertow. In Flynn she introduces a new character, a detective called Laura Flynn. The book runs two stories in parallel, an initially innocuous case of corporate ownership and the case of her father who walked out when she was four. It is actually very good, quite subtle. She doesn't go for any flashy effects, and most of what happens is very believable, at first seems even banal, until you realize you are actually biting your nails. The writing is very solid and Flynn is a nice character, well balanced between competence and chaos, a detective who gets rather modest jobs that just pay the bills. When yet another seemingly modest job comes along you feel that she's enjoying the increasing danger but at the same time that she's not at all sure that she can keep things in control. All of this is set against the backdrop of the Irish in London, with more than a tinge of the failure so many of them encountered. There's much that is poignant and intelligent in this book. I enjoyed it a lot and will read more.

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