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Sunday, 27 September 2015

The Watching : the waiting book 2

Book review   The Watching : the waiting book 2


25066339I reviewed the first two books in this series earlier in the year and the first of these can be found here .  This, the third book in the series picks up where the last two left off. If you have read the earlier reviews you will know I compare it to a glitzy American soap opera like Dallas in its hay day. A soap opera I named 'Rivers' after the hospital where most of the characters worked.  So perhaps the best way to think of this novel is season 2, which follows on from the tragic ending of the previous season.

As with the first two books the back drop of Louisiana gives the books a setting which has an exotic flavour at times. While the complex lives and loves of the characters twist, turn and snake back on themselves. The real joy of this series is however the writing. Elizabeth and Marie manage to keep the action moving swiftly along from one character to another. The point of view moves from one section to the next like links in an elaborate chain, with scenes cutting each few pages. It would be easy to have the stories become lost and confused, carrying such a large cast and so many plot lines and yet they manage to weave it so well that you never lose track, and are held in a wrapping of anticipation for the next snippet of story.

The measure of any novel is whether you care about the characters and their lives. No matter how well written a story may be if you don't care about the characters then you will lose interest along the way. it is perhaps therefore an indictment to how much I cared about the characters that I was  moved to tears in a couple of places. I worried about them, cared about them, shared there joys and there defeats. But importantly the characters also grew along the way. Characters who in the first novel were mired in a darkness stepped forward into the light. While they still carry the dark side of them that gave them anti hero status in the first books they are fleshed out with more back story and they change along the way. Events influence the actors in this drama and they develop in ways you don't expect yet seem natural all the same.

In short these novels are a joy, and indulgent joy of, occasionally like swimming through chocolate.