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Thursday, 22 January 2015

Buried Deep, by Penny Grubb, Reviewed.

The wonderfully idiosyncratic heroine, Annie Raymond, appears first in Penny Grubb’s detective
novel, Like False Money. Buried Deep is the fifth book in the series, and this well-imagined detective has significantly developed along the way.

This story holds the reader’s interest from the beginning and never lets go. The reader easily understands Annie; her faults making her a believable creation and endearing her to us as she struggles with the difficulties sent her way. In this book, she has to work with the flawed police detective, Webber. He brings his own problems, prejudices, insights and skills to the tale, building the book into something bigger than a simple crime novel.

Penny has a way of wearing the skin of her characters, even the villains, so that the reader cares what happens. But Annie and Webber are the ones we really empathise with, in spite of their faults, or maybe because of them.

The nature of the crimes in this story will disturb some readers, but crime fiction is designed to make people think, to bring the real world into the safe environment of our homes where we can experience it without personal danger.

As always, with this author’s work, there are shocks, moments of unexpected illumination, many twists and turns, and a complex puzzle to solve. And the developing pace of the story engages the reader as both Annie and Webber are led into great danger. The denouement builds slowly at first, then the pace increases with the tension until it becomes impossible to book the book down until it’s finished. And a satisfying finish it is.

Buried Deep is more than just a crime novel. It is a well-written, engaging, absorbing and truly attention-demanding piece of fiction. If you like your crime enlivened with humour, human failings, realism, and intelligence, this book is for you. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and heartily recommend it.

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