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2.0 out of 5 starsNot as good.
Reviewed in the United States on November 22, 2019
I didn't like the crude language in this book. Faith Martin's other series that I have read use cleaner language. I'm not going to read any more books in this series.
2.0 out of 5 starsMight be a good mystery underneath somewhere
Reviewed in the United States on November 2, 2017
It's difficult to like this book, no matter how hard one tries. The scenario is excellent. But abruptly, the story switches from being a competent police procedural to a tired character study more suitable for a YA novel. Hillary is in love with Mike, Tommy is in love with Hillary, Janine is a jealous social climber sleeping with Mel, her boss, while Frank is a lazy, drunk, lecherous thief. None of these are spoilers - the author tells us all this within the first few pages, then never misses a chance to reiterate. The squad room has more whiny drama than any group of high school cheerleaders, and the reader gets hit over the head with it again and again. The interplay of the main characters is so coy and repetitively predictable that they lose any interest value, and in the process, any meaningful mystery gets lost. At the end of it all, the characters have become nothing more than tedious cliches.
Which really is a shame, considering the fact that underneath all the junior high angst, there is the skeletal system of a really good story. A young, educated, talented, brainy looker with a sordid double life gets bumped off by person or persons unknown? Egad, how could you throw that setup away?
1.0 out of 5 starsDI Hillary Greene is sour on everyone, including her ...
Reviewed in the United States on June 17, 2018
DI Hillary Greene is sour on everyone, including her own colleagues on the team. She apparently has no respect or compassion for anyone. This is my second book in the series and definitely the last. Half of these books are devoted to the backbiting rivalries in the team rather than coming together to solve the crime. Instead of bringing her team together, DI Greene simply sits in judgment (silently) on each of them with no evidence that she would be disturbed if any of them were killed or injured in the line of duty. She evinces only scorn for everyone except herself. And again, half the book is devoted to this team drama and Hillary’s judgments instead of the murder at hand. I’m definitely finished with this series.
A student is found dead on the hallowed grounds of OxfordUniversity. The cause of death is not immediately apparent, but a contradiction quickly develops: the dead woman was at the school on a full scholarship, but her wardrobe is bursting with expensive clothes. DI Hillary Greene is on the case and while everyone agrees she is a fine detrctive, she may lack the bureaucratic skills to gain promotion. She likes being a detective and is determined to solve the case overcoming personal and professional challenges. It will not be easy, because the case involves an odd assortment of characters and it is difficult to see how they fit together. This is a fine police procedural.
I do agree with some readers that it is tiresome to hear repeat comments over Hillary's admirers. However, apart from that and one serious error by forensics team (wouldn't they check waste paper baskets first) it was a good story. As for the obvious rivalry in the force this seems understandable as with any public department where higher positions mean higher wages, of course there will be some favouritism. All in all I like the police procedures and at least the characters are well formed.
Hillary Greene makes for an intriguing yet believable new detective, along with her cadre of police cohorts. The setting, while familiar to all Morse/Lewis/Endeavor fans, is presented in a contemporary light. I also found it appealing how all the characters thoughts are presented, not just the main protagonist's. And the plots are just complicated enough, without being overly tortuous. I'm glad there's plenty of novels in this series to binge through!
Reviewed in the United States on February 10, 2018
Hillary always seems to have a niggling about a point of interest in the investigation that keeps you also searching your mind for the source. She's seasoned, she's smart and she reads everyone around her. I also like that every character has a voice. Each one sharing their personal perspective but also showing their respect for Hillary. This one just kept me turning the pages until the very unexpected ending. Great read.
Between the coarse language and immoral lifestyles, I found this book offensive and totally unappealing. Definitely not a book or author that I want to follow. Too bad a good mystery has to be spoiled by foul language and immoral lifestyles.
1.0 out of 5 starsA Plodder - it will be the last I read of this author
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 15, 2018
This really wasn't gripping and instead of many twists and turns it just plodded on until the unsatisfactory ending. I had no real issues with DI Greene - she was by far the most sympathetic character (apart from the black DC, Tommy I think). However one did get weary of hearing about her nut-brown bob and her blouse stretching over her ample breasts - not just once but many times. Who does the author think appreciates this rubbish? Also wearing were the silly abbreviations, eg wit, vic and perp, more fitting for NYPD. A bit of research wouldn't have gone amiss, either. WPC is an archaic term dumped by the police at the turn of the 21st century. All constables are now PC, regardless of gender. Also the Milk Marketing Board became defunct in 2002. Only a quick Google required. But the most heinous crime of the author, who introduces the murder at the beginning of the book, drags in her murderer at the eleventh hour when he has not even been so much as mentioned in the rest of the book. Very poor show
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 26, 2018
I previously read "Murder on the Oxford Canal " and although the plot was good and the main characters in the book were believable and authentic, the book didn't hang together too well But " Murder at the University " was excellent. Right from the beginning it is full of tension and I really felt almost like one of the team of detectives trying to solve this crime. The coming together of two separate investigations was brilliant and very exciting. I look forward to reading this author again.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 2, 2019
I adore Jenny starling books and love Monica noble books so I assumed I'd love the Hilary books as well, but they're a huge disappointment me. I barely finished the first one, just skimmed through to the end I was so bored, so I tried this one, desperate to enjoy it. But as someone said, it plods along. I even cheated to see how it ended and who had done it, to discover that though id read over 70% of the book by then, the murderer was someone who hadn't even been mentioned in that 70%, so I have no idea who he is! I will read to the end, to find out, but how odd is that?! Does he appear for the first time in the final chapter?! I won't be reading any more Hilary books for a while. Hopefully a new Monica or Jenny will appear which I'll read instantly, but til then, I need to read a book that won't bore me and is an actual pleasure to read!
I read the first of these and it was not too bad; feisty heroine going through a traumatic time in her personal life and coming out on top. The Americanisms grated but there weren't that many of them and I managed to ignore them (but what the heck is a fink??). And, for the gallionth time, coroners are not medical examiners; they are a legally qualified person who determines cause of death based on the evidence of the police and medical examiners.
This second one has way too many gottens (ie more than two) and other errors that I just can't ignore. If you're writing a book set in Britain with British characters, use British English.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 26, 2019
This is the second book in this series which I have read and it definitely will not be the last. I have every intention of downloading the next one.
The author has carefully constructed her plot in order to keep the ending a surprise although there are clues to be found if the reader is fully alert!
I'm liking the interactions between the team, even though I'm only on book 2. I anticipate this developing further as the series progresses. I particularly like the downplaying of Hillary's character and the mundanity of her life outside of work. She's really good at her job but not flash, she leaves that to others . . .
I'm looking forward to downloading the next book as soon as this review is posted.