Book Review: Local Artist by Paul Trembling

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January 03, 2018  
 
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Book Review: Local Artist by Paul Trembling

Basic Details

Release Date
Price (RRP)
£7.99
Digital Price
£5.03 (kindle)

Book Information

Author
Publisher
ISBN
978-1-78264-259-6
Category
Fiction
Genre

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The police call came at 4:00 am. A possible burglary that turns out to be a particularly nasty murder. Sandra Deeson, the Librarian who finds the bloodied body, is deeply shaken.

Then the nightmares begin. . . because what the police don't know is that this is not the first time she has found a corpse.

One of Sandra's colleagues is missing. The Police investigation starts and then stalls. There may be a clue in the painting someone left for Sandra – but the picture brings back memories she's tried to keep buried.

Two unidentified bodies, thirty years apart, and the only connection is Sandra herself. Last time, it cost her dearly. This time the price may be even steeper.

Editor review

Overall rating 
 
8.7
Writing 
 
9.0
Story 
 
9.0
Flow 
 
8.0

Local Artist by Paul Trembling

"Local Artist" is a second novel in a series written by Paul Trembling. While it doesn't follow on from his novel "Local Poet" it does contain some of the same characters and bit-part characters from the first novel find themselves the centre of this new story. This particular novel starts with a phone call in the middle of the night to the manager of the local library. The Police suspect that someone has broken in and they need the keyholder to come out. That means that Sandra Deeson heads out to discover that someone has indeed broken in and there is a body in the brand new wing of the library. The wing of the library was about to open a local art group's exhibition, but does the dead body have anything to do with the exhibition, or the art club?

The strange thing is that this isn't the first dead body that Sandra Deeson has discovered. Not only does this new dead body bring back a lot of trauma, but it quickly appears that there may even be a connection between the two bodies, just how can that be with a gap of 30 years between them? A painting left in her office points her in the right direction and she immediately recognises the location, the farmhouse where she encountered the first body.

Paul brings this story together brilliantly teasing the protagonist and the reader with the possibilities of who might be behind this body - and whether there is any true connection with the old body. Telling the story through the character of an ex-reporter turned librarian with some limited involvement from the police allows this narrative to work out well. Especially when there is some suggestion that pressure is being put on the police to shut down the investigation. The mystery takes some turns and these aren't without danger for our main character, or her husband who seems to come off worst. Additionally there is growth from the character too, she has been shut away and this old investigation that she started when she found the first body had never been resolved. This has caused her to take on guilt about other personal events in her life that she suffers with. I love that this character has clear flaws which makes her very accessible to the reader.

The story is very well told. I like that each chapter is named after the word of the day, it's a nice way to label them, obviously it gives the reader an idea of something to expect from each chapter, but also plays into the character of Sandra who loves words and the words are supposed to be from a group that gives her a new word each day by text message. It is these small areas where there is attention to detail that really makes this book so very readable.

Initially I found this a little slow to get going, I had not read "Local Artist" so didn't have the background and didn't know what to expect. However, this book soon became hard to put down, and if there was any one criticism, it is that the chapters are a little too long. I like to grab 5 minutes to read, but that is difficult to maintain with such long sections of the story and no clear breaks to stop at in order to pick up later.

A well plotted mystery that will keep you guessing all along. There is a small mention around the nature of faith and the nature of guilt in the narrative, and that is how this comes under the Christian fiction section. It's not heavy and there is no big gospel message in here, but it is a good, well-rounded novel. I really enjoyed this book and I am already looking forward to the next in the series called "Local Legend".

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