I have five books to review today. Bear with me, please, as I flood the front page.
This is one of the few Sophie Hannah (Spilling CID) books that I didn’t outright love. Her plots are usually bit far-fetched — the twisty secrets behind the murder as well as Simon’s various leaps to the truth — but this one in particular seemed…overwrought.
A famous, antagonistic writer named Damon has been found murdered in his home, suffocated by a knife taped to his mouth. The killer painted a few words on the wall behind him: “He is no less dead”. Nicki Clements, who narrates the first person part of this novel. She may or may not have been having an affair with Damon. She definitely has some secrets that she’s keeping from her husband, her friends, and now, the police. Of course, Simon Waterhouse gets called in to investigate, while Charlie (who seems to never perform her actual job) skulks around in the background.
I think, for me, the main issue with Woman with a Secret comes from the excess of characters involved with the murder. So many suspects, so many possible lovers — I spent most of the book trying to remember who was who. I also thought that Nicki was a particularly unlikable character — Hannah’s narrators often are, but Nicki was awful — and that made things drag a bit. Also, while I was grateful for a respite from the Snowman subplot, I thought it odd that it was basically dropped entirely from this entry.