Friday, December 28, 2012

Australian Women Writers: Kathryn Fox's Skin and Bone

This review is part of the Australian Women Writers Challenge 2012

Kathryn Fox's Skin and Bone is a good choice for summer holiday reading if you're into crime thrillers. Her third book, published in 2007, is comfortable but not challenging.

Its young female detective Kate Farrer has most of the characteristics expected of the hero in this genre. She's recovering from a traumatic close-shave that has left demons that she'll have to face. She is a loner, both personally and professionally. And of course she has a new partner at work.

The cover promises a protagonist to rival a Cornwell or Reichs character. Farrer doesn't make a very enthusiastic silent witness, in fact she'd rather skip post-mortems of burnt bodies. There is plenty of forensic detail but none of the pathologists plays a critical or central role in the story, unlike her first two novels.

With regard to detail, it is disappointing that firefighters are referred to as fireman by the author.

Don't try to second-guess the plot too much, as much of it is a bit too predictable. Just go for the ride.

The style is Modern Fiction 101. Is it the lack of adjectives that makes it difficult to bring up a mental image of the main characters?

This novel would probably make a thoroughly watchable tele-movie where those aspects could be developed. In fact the book is more skeleton than skin and could have been fleshed out a bit more.

No comments:

Post a Comment