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The Cradle in the Grave: A Zailer and Waterhouse Mystery (A Zailer & Waterhouse Mystery) Paperback – August 30, 2011
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In this novel, Waterhouse is investigating the murder of a woman who'd spent nine years in prison for, allegedly, murdering her two small children. The Snowman was the officer who arrested her, even though he was very friendly with the woman he was forced to arrest and kept insisting on her innocence. As readers, we get to see the Snowman in ways we didn't before. We watch his relationship with Simon unravel in very unpredictable ways.
At the same time, there are other women who had been accused and tried for the same kind of crime. A noted TV journalist who's been active in helping them clear their names and who has been trying to make a documentary film about them suddenly leaves his job. It falls to Felicity, the Creative Director at his TV company, to decide whether the film should be made at all. Felicity, however, has a few dark secrets of her own.
Sophie Hannah is brilliant at making her characters very distinctive and memorable. Each of them has a voice and a personality of their own that make it impossible for the readers to forget them.Read more ›
The British title of this book is A Room Swept White. The US title is The Cradle in the Grave. Fliss is a low level television producer whose boss calls her in and announces that he is leaving the company and the documentary that he alone has championed for years. He is leaving it for Fliss Benson. She quickly find out she is in over her head. Suddenly there are murders and attacks on those involved in the project and she wants nothing to do with it, until Ray Hines contacts her and suddenly becomes willing to be a part of the project as long as Fliss is in charge. Wanting to try and find answers, Fliss befriends Ray and continues on with the project. In the meantime, the Culver PD are trying to find their own answers as to who has killed Helen Yardley, who has recently been released from prison upon acquittal of the murder charges against her that she has killed her two children. She claims, as do others, that they died of crib death. A card with a grid of numbers was left at the crime scene.Read more ›
The narrative gains interest as it moves forward - there are many mysteries in addition to the central ones - who killed Helen Yardley - and were these cleared mothers in fact innocent of killing their children - whats Fliss Benson's problem (a highly neurotic babe), what gives with her-ex boss Laurie, or the cops, Proust,Hopkinson, etc. The very fact that the narrative remains strong and satisfying despite Hannah's failure to carry though and tie up the loose ends is quite remarkable.
Among those whose cause Laurie has championed is Helen Yardley. She was convicted of smothering her two sons, spent nine years in prison, and was released after a successful appeal. According to Nattrass, the villain-in-chief is forensic pathologist Dr. Judith Duffy, an expert witness who has spent hours in court testifying against individuals accused of killing their babies. Thirty-one year old Felicity (Fliss) Benson is an insecure and nervous producer who works for the domineering and aloof Nattrass. For a variety of reasons, Fliss becomes involved when an unidentified perpetrator shoots one of the principals connected with the aforementioned cases.
Hannah tackles a hot-button issue with subtlety, sensitivity, and a lack of moral superiority. Her descriptive writing is terrific. One irritating character "blinks at you blank-eyed, as if you've bored her into an upright coma." The dialogue is bright, clever, funny, and poignant, and the author creates a large and memorable cast (recurring characters are the caustic and neurotic DC Simon Waterhouse and his long-suffering girlfriend).Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
When I read about the plot, it sounded like this was going to be a very intense book. However, in the end I didn't like any of the characters, particularly the main ones of Fliss... Read morePublished 3 months ago by ahammerquilts
I found this book kind of boring. Very disappointing, since I really liked the earlier ones in the series.Published 6 months ago by Sonja Bartini
Not as good as her other work, The wrong mother and Little Face are by far better reads.Published 6 months ago by Shar
I love her books and the series the best. This was no exception and was very good!Published 12 months ago by Puppy
Plodding story.....I read it because I had time invested and wanted to know the ending.......it's unclear....very disappointed......should have quit right away.Published 14 months ago by Sophia
Hard to keep up, writing was back and forth. Confusing to follow plot.Published 16 months ago by Amazon Customer