The Playground Murders

The Playground Murders

Lesley Thomson
ARRSE Rating
2.5 Mushroom Heads
Another story in the Stella Darnell series, a cleaner with her own cleaning business deals with murder cases where people known to the convicted or victims go to for justice when they perceive that the police have gotten it wrong.

It’s a "Murder She Wrote" meets Miss Marple who solves murders where the police failed; she did have a brief affair with a detective and her father was a detective so that explains how she got into this unlikely business.

Theres a quote from William Faulkner a distinguished author and Nobel prize winner. "In writing, you have to kill your darlings." Basically get rid of anything that doesn't add to your story, no matter how much you like the piece of writing.
The above is a bit of advice that this author should heed, pages and pages of mundane bickering where all I wanted to do was shout at the author “for gods sake please stop and just get with the actual story”!

Back and fourth from 1980 to the present day, just as you get a feel for what the author is trying to portray, bang it goes again. Hell I tried, I really did. A murder of a little girl back in 1980, the murder of a secretary by, well that would be telling but please why the over elaborate confusion?

The story is a bit like an old car, you get into second gear and as you get going and change up to third instead of putting your foot down you have to change backdown to second as the engine coughs and splutters, so damn annoying!

I have read a few of this author's books, and I thought one or two were OK; I also disliked a few, this one fell into the dislike bin, well not quite the bin, it fell straight into the charity shop bag.

I’ve read hundreds of books in my time if not more and quite a few from this site and on the whole I really enjoy the books I read but not this one. I put that down to the the lack of flow in the writing, there is far too much dialogue in places, senseless mundane chitter chatter back and fourth between the characters. At times it was like reading two books at the same time. I lost track and as it was a book for review I went over pages again and again trying to grasp what the characters were trying to say and portray to the reader, trying to work out if this really had any bearing on the story. I’m sorry to say that for the most part it didn’t, it just added to the clumsiness and the structure of the whole book.

However, saying all that I managed to read it and so it’s not the worse book I’ve ever read and the idea for a really good read is there, it’s just been lost in over elaborate writing, as the saying goes, “less is more”.

Now I’m the first to admit that I’m not the most qualified chap in the world of literature but I know what I like, furthermore I know what I dislike and having read this book I wrote the review then, having written the review, I made a mental note to myself, no more books by this author!

A score of 2/5Mushroom Heads.

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