Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Jo Bannister “Changelings”


A detective story in the Castlemere mysteries series involving Inspector Liz Graham and colleagues. Typical of the crime stories it probably gets its police procedures correct but puts the Mayor as the major political figure in the town. I wonder why it is that so few people realise the Leader of the Council is the power on the throne and the Mayor merely someone who opens fêtes.

The Castlemere series consist of the following and I seem to recall having read one of them some time ago:-
1. A Bleeding of Innocents (1993)
2. Charisma (1994)
aka Sins of the Heart
3. A Taste for Burning (1995)
aka Burning Desires
4. No Birds Sing (1996)
5. Broken Lines (1998)
6. The Hireling's Tale (1999)
7. Changelings (2000)

JO BANNISTER was born in 1951 and is the author of more than twenty acclaimed novels. She started her career as a journalist on a local weekly paper. Shortlisted for various prestigious awards, she held the post of editor at The County Down Spectator for several years before leaving to pursue her writing full time. She lives in Northern Ireland.
I do like an author who puts a lot of effort into the first couple of pages and Jo Bannister is one of them...

“Stacking shelves at the Castlemere branch of Sav-U-Mor was the best job Tracey Platt had ever had. It was regular, it paid well – well, better than most jobs available to an unqualified sixteen-year old – there was overtime, and as long as you didn’t actually do the damage yourself there were perks in the form of dented cans and battered boxes., Plus, Sav-U-Mor was an American supermarket, so shelf-stacking here was the closest Tracey was ever likely to get to working abroad....”

“...It was October now so the photographs in the tourist brochures were no longer legally binding. The canal was brown. The buildings on Broad Wharf were brown, and brown clouds lowered out of the sky and dropped their cargo like celestial tankers dumping toxic waste while god wasn’t looking. Even the swans, those without the foresight to swallow a fish hook and get themselves sent to a sanctuary for the winter, had a khaki tinge.”

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