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I thought this book was supposed to be a police procedural based on the description and ended up disappointed. I should have read more of the Amazon reviews.
The set up is interesting. A wealthy philanthropist is found naked, tied to a bed with silk scarves, and dead. It is not unknown for this sort of thing to happen in London from time to time. The body is discovered by the cleaner who calls in the police and an investigation into the family, employees, and associates of the dead man begins.
I bought the Kindle version and the whispersynced Audible version. The narrator Sarah Coomes was above average, but I shortly gave up on listening to the Audible version so I could skim the long (and I thought uninteresting) letters that give the back story of Sir Hugo's marriage. The characters of the people investigating the murder start out interesting enough, but it all quickly takes on a soap opera quality.
Detective Chief Inspector Tom Douglas who is in charge of the investigation is having family problems of his own, but unlike many authors who work the family lives of their detectives into their books (Cynthia Harrod-Eagles for one), Abbott just has Douglas interrupting his interrogation of a suspect to answer phone calls from his ex-wife. Douglas' habit of having personal conversations on his phone in front of his Sergeant or telling one of his chief suspects about his issues with his ex-wife are unlikely and don't add to the story. The resolution of the ex-wife issue is perfunctory.
Also when one of the suspects was being questioned about accepting money under the table I kept waiting for someone to threaten the suspect with tax consequences, but it never happened.
I knew in a short period of time whodunnit. I also guessed fairly quickly why it was done. And the domestic issues of the characters weren't interesting enough to keep me absorbed as the rest of the story unrolled.
I was surprised at Sir Hugo having trouble finding partners who enjoyed his rather mild sexual fetishes. In fact, except for the bits revealed about his background here and there, I wondered what all the fuss was about. (Now the MI6 spy discovered naked zipped and padlocked in a North Face duffle bag in his bathtub had an interesting fetish--provided the London Metropolitan Police are correct, that he did it to himself.)
In short not a horrid book, but not to my taste either.
36 of 38 people found this review helpful
Would you try another book from Rachel Abbott and/or Sarah Coomes?
What could Rachel Abbott have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?
What didn’t you like about Sarah Coomes’s performance?
She reads like a teenager bemoaning a lost love. She even sighs at the chapter numbers!
If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Only the Innocent?
I'd have a total rewrite
Any additional comments?
I just bought "Only the Innocent" by Rachel Abbot because I saw it advertised on Audible as a good mystery. I'm 10 chapters into it and cannot listen to the immature babbling of grown women bemoaning their lives and loves and... well they just babble. There is no mystery to care about. A man dies at the very beginning, and then two women cannot stop their sighing and immature love stories. I see it as either a book for immature teens (today's teens wouldn't talk to their girlfriends like the two main characters) or a cheap love novel with the picture of a pirate on the cover.
The narrator makes it even worse. For her, even the chapter numbers are part of a tragedy and deserve the sweet, sweet sighs she is so good at.
Don't be fooled by the advertising!
60 of 65 people found this review helpful