In the Wake by Helen Trevorrow

Review published on April 9, 2018.

A body is found floating in the London Docklands in advance of a major boat show. Kay Christie, who runs her own PR business, has been sub-contracted by her major client to act for the event. Problems. Even before it becomes clear that Kay knows the victim – and that another woman has also been “disappeared”.

I like reading crime and use it as a relaxant among masses of other books. But that does not mean that I do not recognise that there is exceedingly good crime writing out there. I do not want over gory, but do require a good sense of place, correct professional procedures, believable characters and (within reason) a storyline that does not entirely stretch my sense of belief. Regrettably, I did not see very much of any of the above in this book.

Patience had worn thin within the first chapter with facile characterisation, gawky text style and over-laboured florid adjectives at weaker moments. If not a review book this one would have been in the discard pile before the second.

But getting to the nub of it, the author had set herself a hard target anyway. The novel relies on the monologue of Kay Christie, so building the flow of the crime background becomes difficult as she is not the criminal. So the centre point of the story rests on Kay herself falling deeper and deeper into difficulties. Surrounded, it should be said, by the actions and problems of her alcoholic father, lover, journalist friend, untrustworthy colleagues and a medley of others. I suppose if one was taken by the woman herself and found her inspirational, or if you felt disposed – unlike me – to find the barrage of unlikely/ridiculous behaviour displayed by most of the characters credible then the novel might be passable. Sorry to a new author, but the politest word I can offer is tiresome.

Hilary White 1/1

In the Wake by Helen Trevorrow
Urbane Publications 9781911583837 pbk Jun 2018


Money in the Morgue by Ngaio Marsh and Stella Duffy


Perfect Match by D.B. Thorne

You may also like