Danielle Steelathon IX – Vanished pub. 1994

ooooooooo this ones a chiller..

This has been a great year for court room dramas for me. Setting a book in a court room can be a great writing tool (we did an exericise on it at uni) because its a structure most readers can relate to (not that you’re all hardened criminals, but most have watched an episode of Kavanah QC at least once in their life), the drama is alreday in place and the characterisations are a dream- you can lpay good lawyer/bad lawyer, throw in shocks or red herrings left, right and centre, and the suspense and build up are already a given.

The best ‘court room’ scene I’ve read has to be the last third of The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest by Steig Larsson, which if you haven’t read yet then clearly you’ve just got in from MARS or something because it is excellent. I’ve also read one of the Anne Perry’s lent my N, which was alright.

Steel Does Courtroom very well here; after a youthful marriage to Charles Delauney, Marielle is still grieving from the tragic death of their son together, and the fall out from this event. Now married to the Evil Malcolm (oooo, he’s evil, great villain, we like this) her life collapses once again around her when their son Teddy is kidnapped. Malcolm blames Charles, and as the evidence piles up against him, its up to dashign prosecutor and inflamatory-haired reporter Eva to seek the truth…


It’s actually a very good, gripping drama this, and as a beach/quick read I can’t fault it. Not a romance novel in the slightest, really; the plot is fairly predicatble but still incredibly satisfying, and the character of Marielle is quite convincing-though I don’t really buy the whole portrayal of her depression. She reminds me a lot of Irene Forsyth, but that might be because I’ve watched that this week, ooo its good. Slightly sidetracked, but how good the Forsyth saga be set in the modern East End? Kepep it in the fahmly etc etc.

What reading this, and a couple of the otheres, has taught me is that Steel can be very varied as an author. Its not all dark as midnight on a moonless night/ rainbows and joyclouds and mwah mwah love you forever, it can be just a good, easy read. And there is nothing wrong with that. I’d recommend this book to fans of, say, Anne Perry, or even John Galsworthy, enjoyed. Next!


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