03 July 2008

On Our Own - Anne Atkins

I've read one of Anne Atkins' books before and was completely caught out by the twist at the end. I think this book works well if you have read another of her books because you wonder what are red herrings and what are real bits.

Basic premise, the voice of the story is a fairly successful author. She's turned down a holiday in Italy with her partner to concentrate on her next book. The book is supposed to be about Mozart, but she's having trouble finding a unique angle. She receives a letter from a young boy and strikes up a letter conversation with him. She eventually visits him and he wants her to write about his dad's murder.

His dad was the choir master at Cambridge (I don't quite understand the whole English school system deal, but it was too important for understanding the story). He was murdered but the murderer was never caught.

It is a very cleverly written book, with apparent parralells to Mozart's story. Was he killed by a less talented rival? Was he killed by the college chaplain? Was it his wife? His son? Or was it actually the guy the police think did it.

The only thing that niggled me about this story was the timeframe. Replies to letters seemed to arrive within hours of the original being posted. Maybe in England the postal system is more competent.

All in all I would give this book at least a 5. This is the second of Atkins' books that I've read and I've enjoyed both.

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