WINK MURDER is the debut book from ex-journalist and sub-editor Ali Knight. Given that the book is set within the cut-throat and odd world of tabloid television, perhaps her background has informed the way that the world of the media (albeit she worked in print) works.
There was so much about the run down and the early part of this book that didn't appeal, I wasn't at all sure I'd be able to get to the end of it. The high-flying husband returning late at night, drunk, covered in blood, muttering. The stay at home mother with the part-time, lesser job in her husband's world, waiting at home for him to return - unsure of her marriage, convinced that her husband is having an affair - but unable to do anything about that. Questioning her mothering ability, worried about the state of the house, guilty for working part-time; a stereotype of the little less-attractive woman married to the gorgeous high-flying husband. Mostly I think it was the whinging, self-absorbed, kind of useless first person voice that was getting to me.
But really... "do not assume" should be displayed on a poster in front of my nose, right below the one that says "stop reading blurbs and media releases....". From the absolute start of this book Kate, who is the main voice of the novel, is tricky. Caught in a spiral of wishing problems under the carpet, trusting and mistrusting her husband, believing he could be capable of everything from infidelity to business corruption to murder, she fights her own paranoia with an increasing sense of desperation and lack of self-belief. I don't think she ever quite loses that slightly whingy, disbelieving tone, but there is a point in the book where she decides, somehow to take matters into her own hands. Not by confronting the husband mind you, she opts for a considerably more complicated path to finding out the truth. Which unexpectedly works. Which, given the personality that has revealed itself in her own voice, actually makes a lot more sense. I think I would have been profoundly disappointed if Kate actually grew balls and stepped up to the mark, but somehow her panicked, suspicious, vaguely lunatic behaviour made a lot of sense - had bucket loads of credibility if you like.
I'm not really sure what it was that made me pluck WINK MURDER from the teetering stacks of unread books around here, as when it first arrived, unsolicited, I will confess to being underwhelmed with the blurb and the media release. Which is exactly why I think I'll stick up those two posters, and maybe spotlight them. This is actually a very good book, involving, car crash fascinating and not at all as simple as it seems. Right down to the last page.