Saturday, August 27, 2011

Bleed For Me by Michael Robotham .

Ray Hegarty, a highly respected former detective, lies dead in his daughter Sienna's bedroom. She is found covered in his blood. Everything points to her guilt, but psychologist Joe O'Loughlin isn't convinced.

This novel is set in Bristol and Bath, which is rather nice as I lived around Bristol for 20 years. It is easy reading and has a steady pace. Bleed For Me is a crime thriller and is written in a similar style to novels from Peter James . This story is written in the 1st person, which is the right format because Joe O'Loughlin is the central character and the key to this mystery. Joe solves the murder not through investigative Police skills but by understanding how people think. The ending was okay and all the ends are tied up in the epilogue.

The joy of this book is how Joe analyses everyone he meets. He sums up the other character, decides how they think and then structures his conversation with them to get the required response. There is a lot going on in this novel, the murder, Joe's social life and a court trial. These 3 areas are cleverly linked and the reader develops a lot of doubts. You always hold the hope that Sienna is innocent but you are not convinced. The research into how people think and interview techniques is both good and entertaining. Bleed For Me is a good book and an enjoyable read. It has 470 pages and was written in 2010 but published in paperback in 2011. I found out about Bleed For Me on last year's TV Book Club and I shall vote it 4 stars on Good Reads .

To illustrate the writing style and humour found within Bleed For Me, look at page 51...

Preston is famous for terrorising his pathology students. According to one apocryphal story, he once told a group of trainees that two things were required to conduct an autopsy. The first was no sense of fear. At this point he stuck his finger into a dead man's anus, pulled it out and sniffed it. Then he invited each student to follow his lead and they all complied.

'The second thing you need is an acute sense of observation,' he told them. 'How many of you noticed that I stuck my middle finger into this man's anus, but sniffed my index finger?'

Urban myth? Compelling hearsay? Both probably. Anyone who slices open dead people for a living has to maintain a sense of humour. Either that or you go mad.

...That's one to ponder!
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