An English Murder by Louise Doughty

1236550  This was an impuse buy.  I’ve never heard of the author or the book but just grabbed it off the shelf anyway.

This is less of a “who dunnit” and more of a “how and why dunnit”.  The murder(s) in question are a middle aged couple who mainly keep to themselves and live a reclusive life centered around the dictates of the husband and father, Mr. Cowper.  They have a teenage daughter Gemma who is now missing and the center of a search and rescue effort…or is it a manhunt?  Alison is a small time news reporter for a local weekly and lives just down the road from the famly. She is financially strapped and finding a big story which she could sell to the Nationals would provide welcome relief.  Between her job and the proximity of the murders, she takes a keen interest. Alison is mostly estranged from her own mother and father and has some limited contact with her brother.  The book winds its way through the family life of both the Cowper’s and Allison’s family drawing some parallels and yet not causing Allison reflect too closely.   .

The focus of this book is families.  The family that looks “normal” down the street, what do you really know about them?   How do events from your childhood shape the adult you are today?  What are the dangers of trying to live through your children?  Having your own hopes, dreams and expectations for them, that maybe they can’t or don’t want to live up to.  There is a lot of exploration with no pat answers.  The book is tension filled and engaging.  I would highly recommend for people who like their mysteries with more of psychological bend.


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