Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Review - Priscilla Masters – “Buried in Clay”

Publ: 2008
Pensby Library
ISBN: 978 0 7490 7913 0
Genre: Thriller
Pages: 328p
Found by Serendipity
Rating: ***** *

What led you to pick up this book?
The cover and the blurb.

Describe the plot without giving anything away.
In 1787 a man hastily put the finishing touches to his beloved jug as he was about to be hunted down. Almost two centuries later, the same jug reappears. Its new owner, Susanna Paris, an antiques dealer, is fascinated by the pictures on the jug and wants to know their meaning, especially as she is confronted by a man by the name of Richard Oliver - a name on the jug. The jug portrays pictures of his ancestral home; Hall o' th' Wood. Gradually the sinister revelations about the inhabitants of Hall o' th' Wood's history emerge. The plot has plenty of twists and turns which gradually make it unbelievable but which are nevertheless well done.

What did you think of the characters?
Well delineated but I’m not sure that I ever really got into them. There was always something lacking. I regret I cannot define it better.

What did you think about the style?
I never felt involved in the story in the way that a good book should involve one.

What did you like most about the book?
The various twists in the plot.

Was there anything you didn't like about the book?
It drives me up the wall when people get their dates wrong. The heroine is twenty seven in 1967. She was eight when her parents died (i.e. about 1948 /9). She goes to live with her aunt in Mallorca. The aunt has the house altered immediately to accommodate her two nieces. Then later the author has the aunt arriving on Mallorca in the late 1950s. Such a trivial mistake but I find mistakes like that really annoying. Either leave dates out or get them right. Even if they get past the author surely a proof-reader should pick them up?

Thoughts on the book jacket / cover.
Very attractive but another thing that annoyed me. The battered, if attractive, pot on the cover is nothing like the pot in the story.

Would I recommend it?

PRISCILLA MASTERS was born in 1952 and lives in Shropshire. She works part-time as a practice nurse. Her writing career started in 1987 when she published Mr. Bateman's Garden, a children's book. After that she created Inspector Joanna Piercy and has now also written a number of Medical Mysteries.

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