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Anderson, Louise - 'Perception of Death' (Unabridged Audiobook) read by Cathleen McCarron
Audio Cassette (2005) Publisher: Clipper Audio ISBN: 1845053087

Buy this from UK Audiobooks

Erin Paterson seems to have it all, she's a top lawyer at the prestigious Glasgow law firm of Paterson, Paterson and Co., has a fashionable penthouse apartment and is slim and beautiful. But she's also cold, hard and aggressive to the extreme and her family life is a mess. One brother committed suicide ten years ago, her sister is an unemployed single mum, her father's had a stroke and her mother appears to despise her.

She's getting fed up with her current boyfriend but she didn't expect to find him in bed with the housekeeper when she dashed home to get some files. Angry and cornered she lashes out at him with a substantial ornament. Leaving him bleeding she returns to work, but later the police come to her office to arrest her for assault. This is just the beginning of her trouble. After her neighbour, Paul Gabriel, comes to her rescue she's freed, but discovers a disturbing message on her mobile phone which turns out to be connected to the murder of Lucy Grant, a friend of her sister's.

It's not long before she's not only lost her boyfriend, but also her firm and is being stalked by a serial killer. The agony for Erin is piled on and on and her past comes back to more than haunt her.

PERCEPTION OF DEATH is long, (13 hours), and there is a point at which it could be finished but it continues for a further couple of tapes and it does appear to be just setting the scene for the second in the series. I was enjoying the narration so it didn't really bother me particularly, but it would have been tidier to end it at that point. Throughout the book, Erin is constantly not being believed and it stretched it a bit much to think that she was still a suspect/outsider rather than a victim at that late stage. I also felt there were a few loose ends, especially regarding one of the characters who was being made to look suspicious and then nothing came of it one way or the other. Perhaps that's for the follow-up.

These slight criticisms aside this is a fast paced book which I enjoyed a lot once I got past the first couple of tapes after Erin had been stupid enough to hit her boyfriend. Erin starts off as extremely unlikeable but she does thaw out, but more importantly the reason for her coldness is revealed and then she can be viewed in a sympathetic light.

DEATH'S SISTER the next Erin Patterson book is due out in January 2007 and I'll be looking forward to it. I hope that Cathleen McCarron will be asked to narrate that one as it's hard to image anyone else being Erin. She does a great job with voices, both male and female, young and old, sane and insane. I especially liked the way she did Erin's imperious mother and wee Max, Erin's nephew.

Karen Meek, England
May 2006

Karen blogs at Euro Crime.

More European crime fiction reviews can be found on the Reviews page.

last updated 25/05/2008 09:41