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Murphy, Margaret - 'Weaving Shadows'
Hardback (July 2005) Publisher: St. Martin's Minotaur ISBN: 0312328532

WEAVING SHADOWS takes the reader back to Clara Pascal, a kidnap victim in DARKNESS FALLS, who is now trying to get on with her life but is finding it increasingly difficult to do so. She is a lawyer but has now refused to take on any criminal cases and there are slim pickings on the civil case front. She spends a lot of her time at her friend's all female firm of lawyers, 'Diva', and eventually her friend manipulates her into taking a civil case with a difference. What seems to be a straightforward custody case becomes more complicated when it is revealed that the case has arisen due to the brutal murder of the child's mother.

The murder has been all over the press. A young woman, beaten to death in her own home. When it becomes known that one of the woman's long distance photography students, Ian Clemence, has just been released from prison after serving time for killing his girlfriend whilst under the influence of drugs, the police feel they have their man.

Clara visits Clemence in police custody and because of that is sacked from her custody battle case and slowly she becomes more involved in Clemence's case. Though all the evidence is pointing towards him it is mostly circumstantial and Clara feels she can win the case. Through this investigation, Clara begins to feel more alive than she has for months.

Not having read DARKNESS FALLS I'm not quite sure what has led to Clara avoiding criminal work and I wasn’t clear on why she decided to take on Clemence's case. This may be more understandable after reading the first half of her story. That aside, this is yet another excellent read from this author. It depicts a woman whose life has been completely and probably irrevocably changed by her ordeal. Suffering from claustrophobia, having to leave doors open and all the time pushing her family away. But through forcing herself to take on Clemence's case she begins to get a small part of her life back.

Set in Chester rather than her usual Liverpool, the author brings the old walled city to life. The answer to the whodunit is not easy to predict and coupled with solving that crime, the police are also following up on a shooting which may be linked to possible bribery and corruption over a land deal and which Clemence is also connected to. This is another of Murphy's absorbing brews of a police procedural mixed with a psychological thriller.

As this is an American edition, I was expecting lots of tweaks to the language but in the main it seems faithful to the original British English.

Karen Meek, England
September 2005

Karen blogs at
Euro Crime.

last updated 23/03/2008 20:48