Trial by Fire by Frances Fyfield

TrialByFire_zps68a56255

Fyfield’s writing is quite busy, often overladen with description or dialogue when less could be more. It is also quite dry and drawn out. What it lacks it literary prowess it makes up for in solid plot. The murder and subsequent revelation of the murderer is very well done.

Living together in the suburbs is an experiment for the couple. Bailey enjoys the housewife mode Helen has slipped into and Helen seems to think acting like an overpaid maid equals a successful relationship.

I mean come on, who waits up till nearly midnight to run their man a bubble bath and make them dinner? Not exactly realistic and certainly bound to end up making someone unhappy.

You can almost see the cracks in their relationship starting to appear, during the duration of the case and certainly towards the end. Bailey speaks to Helen, as if she were a disruptive little housewife who can’t behave properly in society.

It is hard to understand why Helen is completely passive in her job and relationship, despite her abilities, education and intelligence. Instead of acting upon her instincts she chooses to make half-baked attempts at solving this crime. She happens to stumble upon the right answer and ends up putting herself in extreme danger.

I enjoyed the way Fyfield constructed a very subtle net around the killer. I t isn’t until the last moment that the reader sees the net being drawn in around the person and various other leads are cut from the tangle of clues.

I received a copy of this book courtesy of Edelweiss.

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