A Painful Post Mortem: Review

Posted at 06:32am on 5th April 2011

No matter how long you've been an author, nor how many books you've written and had published, it is always very humbling to receive a positive review of your work from someone who is a stranger to you.  The process of creative writing opens you up in a manner which exposes your vulnerability.  And in some indescribable way, walls are broken down and a bond is formed between you: author and reader.  In the light of that realisation, I would like to thank all my readers and, especially, this one, Dawn Dorrington.

I have just finished this novel by author Mel Menzies. The book is written in both first and third person. This made it very interesting, as you get different perspectives, although I did get a bit confused when it was written in third person and mentioned Claire! Took a few seconds to sink in as to who Claire was.

The book deals with the death and aftermath of Claire’s younger daughter,Katya, and whether or not she was a drug addict at the time of her death. It also showed, in great detail (but not too much detail, or in a long-winded manner) the affect of the young woman’s death on her immediate family.

The characters in the book were believable, and mostly likable, although Mark, Claire’s ex-husband and Katya’s father, is the kind of person I find infuriating in real –life. He was a drunken buffoon who would not, for a lot of the novel, accept responsibility for his behaviour.

The realisation of their own faults is cleverly brought out during the novel, for each of the main characters. They are human, like the rest of us, with faults and failures as well as good characteristics. Even how tough having small children is was shown in Katya’s older sister, Rosie.

I ‘enjoyed’ this novel in the sense that it is very well written, easy to read and believable. It opened up by eyes to what can be a harrowing experience following the death of a loved one, not just from the perspective of having lost someone, but of all the difficulties that can arise from a suspicious death – i.e. one that is not straight-forward. I would highly recommend it.

By Dawn Dorrington

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