Minette Walters - The Shape of Snakes. PDF

PDF Another terrific page-turner from my new favorite crime-story author. A black woman, Annie, dies under suspicious circumstances in the working class London neighborhood where she lived. The ensuing investigation resulted in the death being ruled accidental and the woman who found the dying woman labeled hysterical because of her insistence that foul play had been involved. Twenty years later, she returns to find justice for Annie, and a certain measure of revenge on the people who turned their back on a sordid state of affairs. A dark look at racial prejudice and class warfare in modern England. Ms Walters writes as fine a police procedural as anyone I have encountered. Her skill at revealing elements of the puzzle without giving away the shape of the final tableaux is nothing short of amazing. In this outing, the investigator is a woman whose sense of justice and drive to rectify past injuries is indomitable, a private citizen and not a policeman at all. Her methods and painstaking research are as good as any official investigator, and maybe better since she only has one case. She takes on all comers, including her husband, the violent and bigoted policeman who headed the investigation, the petty criminals and neighborhood bullies who made Annie's life a living hell, and the neighbors whose dirty little secrets kept them from telling the truth at the time and had held them all prisoner since. A testament to the power of one decent human being standing up for someone no longer able to stand up for herself. Definitely recommended.

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