Today’s book review comes from team member Judith, she blogs at http://judithbarrowblog.com/
Judith chose to read and review Death In The Family by Helen Treharne
Yet again I’ve found myself reading a genre that is not my usual cup of tea. But, before I continue I have to say how much I enjoyed this book; it exceeded my expectations. Helen Treharne’s writing is so powerful and evocative, any reservations I had were swept away. The story is contemporary, the protagonist, Sophie Morgan, exists within what I call the ‘normal world’, with all the trappings of an everyday life. Except that she lives with the knowledge that vampires are omnipresent and unstoppable.
I always try to write reviews by setting out the techniques of the book that I enjoyed, so I won’t give away any spoilers.
Sophie, is a well-rounded, believable character; easy for the reader to empathise with. Indeed, the author brings all the characters, Kasper, her father, Mickey Kelly, her erstwhile lover, Charles Ferrers, the adversary, Margeaux Renard, self-appointed matriarch, to life with subtlety and foreshadowing. And the various points of view, shown through the omniscient narrator, works well.
At one point, through the author’s description of the Welsh town, Bethel, alongside that of the village of Bethesda, I had an immediate sense of place. I was instantly there. The internal dialogue of the protagonist that follows is an example of the clever intertwining of the horror and tension and the humour; “Why a vampire had decided to rock up there, heaven alone knew”. And this was one of the reasons I enjoyed this novel.
That and the fact that the plot is interesting (little spoiler here:- there is a mystery about an ancient manuscript) with twists and turns
Death in the Family is the sequel to Relative Strangers. But it is also a stand-alone book. I didn’t feel that I had missed out or was confused by any of the action.
I thought this book was perhaps one I might struggle with. I was wrong. And I would certainly recommend this book and Helen Treharne as an author.