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Top customer reviews
Newton's debut novel is well crafted with a tightly knit story that twists and turns. While I thought I might have figured out "whodunit" midway through the story, she so skillfully dropped red herrings that I was fully in doubt of my detective work. This is part to her well-developed cast of characters - complex, nuanced and downright fascinating. DS Julie Kite in particular was a fascinating character - vulnerable and yet sharply professional, unsettled and sympathetic. I enjoyed watching her character develop over the course of the novel (and hope to see more of her in another book.)
Remember No More has vivid images and a strong sense of place, and the stillness of the Welsh countryside is contrasted against the noise and the pace of Manchester. Author Newton sharply captures the feeling of "otherness" that Julie Kite experiences as an outsider to the area, someone from "away".
The plot also ties in with a heartbreaking piece of Welsh history that I quite honestly had forgotten about; in 2001, the UK's handling of foot-and-mouth disease in literally wiped out livestock from farms in Wales as it did elsewhere in the UK. While the outbreak only lasted 221 days, it laid devastation to farmers all over the UK.
Perhaps so much of the story resonated with me because I was an outsider in this area of Wales; Kite's struggles with the isolation and the inability to pronounce names of surrounding towns were quite familiar, but I think those not familiar with the area will enjoy the book as much as I did.
Julie has no time to dwell on her misgivings. Her first day at Builth Wells police station sees her propelled into a possible suspicious death enquiry after a reported accident isn’t as straightforward as it at first seems. The enquiry seems connected to a previous case and stirs up long buried emotions.
Skilful story telling, a well crafted plot with plenty of twists and fleshed out characters. There’s not much more you ask from a debut novel. Julie is a sympathetic character, especially with the changes she’s coping with. Leaving her friends and colleagues, her home, everything familiar, and the reasons for it. She’s an interesting mix of self-possession and vulnerability. I’m not too sure about Adam, he’s still a bit of a mystery.
Jan Newton delineates between Julie’s urban and rural lifestyles extremely well with descriptions which give vivid images and sense of place. The remoteness of the farming communities and Julie’s new house contrasts well with the cityscape and flat she used to live in. Julie is initially uneasy with country living and the suspicion of some of the locals, who consider her an outsider. The resulting learning curve is very realistic, including working with an unfamiliar team and trying to fit in. Julie stands by her convictions regardless of peer pressure and isn’t afraid to speak her mind and she relaxes more into her home and work life as the story progresses.
Look forward to more DS Julie Kite.
I chose to read and review Remember No More based on a digital copy of the book supplied by Brook Cottage Books.
On her first day Julie must deal with a murder while also trying to ingratiate herself with the locals and her new colleagues. She's new and they are suspicious of her. Battling to fit in both at work and home Julie must use all her experience to try to solve this crime. Emotions are high and there's a lot at stake, albeit more than Julie's own reputation.
As crime novels go, this one ranks up there with some of the best I've read. It turned out to be one of those books that was so difficult to put down and again one of those books that had me up until the wee small hours desperate to finish. Jan Newton has created such an interesting and complex character in Julie and I really liked her. Her vulnerability as well as her strength were often at odds with one another. The story was well paced with lots of clues to tempt and tease us and a wealth of interesting characters ensured that the story moved along and kept me interested. Jan Newton's descriptions of rural Wales has made me want to go visit too! Not sure about everyone else who has read the book but I found myself reading it in a Welsh accent! A super read that made me a Jan Newton fan! Highly recommended!