Hall's Jenny Cooper "The Coroner" series, and this third book definitely doesn't disappoint. Jenny is investigating three deaths - one murder, two suicides - which on their own seem unrelated, but the fact that all three people were members of a new evangelical church, and in the same prayer group, suggests there may be a link between the deaths. However, some extremely powerful people, including a member of the House Of Lords, are involved in the church, and are intent on I'm a huge fan of M. However, some extremely powerful people, including a member of the House Of Lords, are involved in the church, and are intent on passing a "Decency" bill, which is anti-pornography.
Into the middle of all this steps Jenny, who, no matter how shambolic her private life, certainly isn't afraid of anyone in her quests for justice. In this book the mystery she's trying to solve with the help of her psychiatrist comes to a head - will this give Jenny peace at last? Tbh, the thing I'm most frightened of is Jenny making it safely to and from work daily - the rate she swallows benzodiazepines, it's a miracle she doesn't have an accident!
Another triumph for M. Hall - this series is definitely one of my favourites in crime fiction! Sep 18, Kristen M rated it liked it. I found The Redeemed very satisfying. It is the first of what I'm sure will be all the other Jenny Cooper mystery series. I am thoroughly fascinated with everything about Jenny Cooper and look forward to getting to know her better.
It's frustrating and disappointing to me that after I get to know a character personally, I often never read another word about them. Thankfully, I just purchased The Disappeared and will be able to continue my friendship with Jenny. Jan 30, Jeanine rated it it was ok Shelves: fiction , own-it , mystery. I've been struggling to get through this book. I should have set it aside and moved on.
I did not like the protagonist, the plot was muddy and all over the place. I didn't care about any of the characters. I had hoped the ending would be the big payoff. It wasn't. View 1 comment. Sep 05, David Kilner rated it really liked it. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Note: M. Plot summary: Cooper is asked to investigate the murder of a young porn star-turned-Born Again Christian, despite the confession made by another man, while also investigating the deaths of a psychiatric nurse and a young adherent of the church.
She meets strong resistance to her investigation, resistance which stretches all the way to the top of the British Establishment.
Jenny finds the three deaths are linked but only when she Note: M. Jenny finds the three deaths are linked but only when she finds unlikely allies does the truth emerge. Overall: I enjoyed this long and meaty yarn, which is full of conflicts between the army of characters, and the forces they represent. The author seems hell-bent on throwing in as much drama and conflict as possible within pages.
Jenny is an investigator in the great mould of the Golden Age detectives - principled, persistent and not put off by threats and fears - a woman with her own moral code and determination to see things through. The local police of course have the wrong suspect and have given up looking. Inter-church rivalry adds spice to the case.
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Characterisation: An excellent feature of the book. We meet a rich collection of characters ranging from Lords of the Realm through to the down-and-outs and psychopaths. The characters include also evangelists, lawyers and priests, all convincing. Jenny is a well-drawn character, though she stretches credulity at times - on the one hand a hard-nosed professional, on the other a woman who relies on medication to get through the day and abuses that medication as well - a modern-day version of the hard-drinking, hard-living PI of yesteryear, a loner stricken by dysfunctional relationships.
Setting and Description: Set in or near Bristol and also Monmouthshire. However the book is surprisingly poorly produced, considering it comes from Pan Macmillan. She is also dealing with repressed memories of a tragic event in her childhood while coping with her dementing father. Read another by same author? Quite likely Rating 8. Jun 23, Nicky Warwick rated it liked it. Meanwhile Jenny's personal life is still in turmoil. A recently recovered memory of a childhood trauma is dug up by those who wish to silence her.
Nov 16, Pat rated it really liked it. To me, this was the best of the three Jenny Cooper novels. Perhaps because I know her better. Now I see her differently as a strong and determined woman carrying a burden and coming to terms with her emotional insecurities. Aug 25, Sandy rated it really liked it Shelves: heart-wrenching , strong-sense-of-place , full-of-interesting-facts , downer , much-philosophizing , thought-provoking , driven-by-history , psychological , british-fiction , police-mystery.
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A very captivating work of fiction. I have read some of these he comments about it he book being implausible or unrealistic. It is fiction! It is a good story. It held my interest from beginning to end. The author's use of language was masterful. Aug 18, Anne Fenn rated it really liked it Shelves: crime-fiction.
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It's a lot more complex, gritty world here. Teeny bit much legalise at times but overall a very entertaining read. Jun 18, Peggi Warner-lalonde rated it really liked it. Oct 09, Vanessa rated it it was amazing. A second read but still had me gripped!!
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Mar 09, David Highton rated it liked it. Our fearless but psychologically flawed Coroner again challenges police conclusions. I had beome a bit fed up with her approach to her problems after two books and in the beginning of this third book I began to get irritated. However, the strength of the narrative and the gradual resolution of the cause of her personal problems overcame my initial concern.
Aug 31, Lizzie Hayes rated it it was amazing. ISBN: Severn Vale District Coroner Jenny Cooper is called to a cemetery in Bristol where the naked body of a man has been discovered — the sign of the cross scored into his flesh. Returning to her office Jenny is confronted with Father Lucas Starr who entreats Jenny to look into the death of an ex-porno star, reborn again, high profile political campaigner, Eve Donaldson for whom Paul Craven has been sentenced for her murder - but did he do?
Father Starr begs Jenny to interview Paul Craven herself, convinced that once she meets him she will be certain of his innocence. Jenny decides to order a final post mortem on Eve Donaldson, little knowing that investigating the death will lead her into conflict with influential people who have a lot to lose should she delve too deeply into The Mission Church of God.
As she pursues her enquiries she comes up against blank walls, but when she discovers that two other recent deaths, including the man found in the cemetery are also members of the same religious organisation she begins to suspect a link to the death of Eve Donaldson. The odds are stacked against Jenny, as attempts to silence her come from several sources. But Jenny is undeterred as she seeks the truth Jenny is still seeing Dr Allen for her own problems, and whilst a recent visit to her father who is suffering from dementia has resulted in a startling revelation, she is reluctant to share this information with Dr Allen.
All she says is that she is now coping. But she is aware that it is only her medication that is holding her demons at bay — they are still lurking at the margins of her subconscious — waiting in the shadows. Jenny is formidable on one level, that of a coroner - her questioning and control of the inquest is skilful, but she is fragile on a personal level, looking to fall apart at any moment. She constantly pops pills and it is clear that without pills she cannot function. A compelling read, as a young woman with personal demons doggedly chips away as she seeks truth and justice. With plenty of court room drama and a satisfying conclusion this books is highly recommended.
First Sentence: Jenny was drinking cordial by the stream at the end of her overgrown garden, watching a school of tiny brown trout flick this way and that, quick as lightning. District Coroner Jenny Cooper is asked by Father Lucus Starr to look into the death of Eve Donaldson, an ex-porn star who professed to be born again and became a crusader against pornography and as a spokesperson for the Mission Church of God. When Jenny discovers two other recent deaths also have links to the church, she b First Sentence: Jenny was drinking cordial by the stream at the end of her overgrown garden, watching a school of tiny brown trout flick this way and that, quick as lightning.
When Jenny discovers two other recent deaths also have links to the church, she becomes more determined to find the truth; even though there are those who do everything they can to prevent it. In her personal life, it seems the blank spot in the memory of her childhood may not remain blank much longer.
The question is whether Jenny will be able to deal with what she finds there. There are definite strengths and weaknesses here. A good courtroom scene, with its questioning and working to find the truth through verbal exchange, can be as gripping and exciting as any chase down a dark alley.
Hall writes these scenes very well. I also find it fascinating to learn the way in which a British court of inquiry works and its scope of power and responsibility. I should love to see that be the end of that and Jenny grow into a stronger character. Altogether, it is a good read with some very strong moments. I am actually curious to see where the series goes from here, which is a recommendation in itself. Jul 06, Nick Davies rated it liked it Shelves: There were a lot of good things about this British crime mystery connected suicides of two male members of a church group, and the murder of an ex-pornstar who was involved in the same church as well as politics from the POV of a professionally impressive but personally flawed woman coroner - it was of a decent literary quality, the plot was ambitious and kept me interested for the majority of the book, the characters were generally thoroughly painted, complex and real.
Alas though there were a There were a lot of good things about this British crime mystery connected suicides of two male members of a church group, and the murder of an ex-pornstar who was involved in the same church as well as politics from the POV of a professionally impressive but personally flawed woman coroner - it was of a decent literary quality, the plot was ambitious and kept me interested for the majority of the book, the characters were generally thoroughly painted, complex and real.
Alas though there were aspects I didn't like quite so much - though the author's depiction of the central character was given a lot of effort, I didn't quite understand or hence believe the role of a coroner as detective unravelling a whole set of interconnected mysteries, and I didn't really warm to her due to the vacillations between deeply troubled neurotic woman and kick-ass super efficient ballsy intelligent faultless heroine coroner. The pace was also a bit odd in places.. I'm aware I might just not have been in the mood, I'll give the author another chance, they're clearly an accomplished writer..
Ellis seemed bemused at the time, and not apologetic. He thought the violence in American Psycho , which was made into a film starring Christian Bale in , so obviously exaggerated that it could not be taken seriously, let alone considered dangerous in real life. You write for yourself; you work out between you and your pen the things that intrigue you. Ellis wrote about a man torturing women to death because, for him, it felt right. In the last century, a great novel was half expected to shock its early readers.
Like American Psycho , many of these books had to fight their way into print, which was often perversely helpful.
Hearing that a book is too shocking to read, people naturally become eager to read it. Vladimir Nabokov published 14 novels in Russian and English without the world much noticing until he sold Lolita to a Parisian pornographer. That route to fame is now closed, and some of the most transgressive novelists of the s — people such as Kathy Acker , Darius James , Dennis Cooper and Stewart Home — are today relatively little known.
Would you have to self-publish it on some weird edge of the web? None attracted much in the way of scandal. Many contain scenes of sexual violence which, in the UK, might be illegal on film. The law is tricky. If Lolita is a scandalous novel about child abuse, why are A Little Life and My Absolute Darling , which are much more graphic, so much less so? But extreme lives are all around us, every day, and fiction must reflect them, too.
In an interview with this newspaper Tallent said something similar about his main character, Turtle. By contrast, Yanahigara and Tallent feel that shocking readers is justified, even necessary, because they hope that it will be of public benefit. Either way, readers still devour shocking novels, just as they devoured the memoirs of suffering, and especially child abuse, which were one of the biggest trends in publishing in the s. One of the earliest real life cases which had a pervasive influence on American movies was that of Ed Gein , arrested in A farmer who had resided with his mother until her death, he had then killed two women and dug up female bodies from the local cemetery , making various items out of their skin.
Rumours spread that he was also a necrophiliac , cannibal or transvestite , though these appear to have been unsupported other than by brief affirmations from Gein to leading questions by interrogators. Both the novel and Alfred Hitchcock 's film adaptation were influences on the popular media portrayal of psychopaths. At the end of the film, a psychiatrist describes Bates as having a split personality. Multiple personality disorder was at that time very popular cf movie The Three Faces of Eve and is to this day commonly confused with schizophrenia.
Bloch later wrote a script for the film The Psychopath , the original working title for which was "Schizo". A different thread within fictional portrayals of psychopathy continued to focus on rebelliously antisocial characters. The title of the film Rebel Without a Cause , starring James Dean , came from a book of the same name detailing the hypno - analysis of a diagnosed psychopath.
Would American Psycho be published today? How shocking books have changed with their readers
In the book, psychiatrist Robert M. Lindner also discussed psychopaths in general as pointlessly selfish individuals who appear unable to accept society's rules. In Ken Kesey 's novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest , Randle McMurphy , after being admitted to a mental institution, is repeatedly referred to by the authorities, other patients and himself as a possible or definite psychopath.
He reads from his record: "repeated outbreaks of passion that suggest the possible diagnosis of psychopath", and adds that a doctor told him it means "I fight and fuh-pardon me, ladies-means I am he put it overzealous in my sexual relations. Ironically, the main authority figure in the hospital—the cold, sadistic Nurse Ratched —was later described as a psychopath under later understandings of the term.
American mystery author Patricia Highsmith often featured psychopathic characters in her books, most notably her Ripliad series about Tom Ripley , a "suave, agreeable and utterly amoral" con artist and serial killer. In the first book, 's The Talented Mr. Ripley , Ripley murders a rich man and steals his identity; in four subsequent novels, he commits several murders and engages in a long-running art forgery scam, all without getting caught.
Ripley has been described by several critics as a psychopath,    while author and diagnosed narcissist Sam Vaknin has said that Ripley fits the criteria for both psychopathy and narcissism. While the male protagonist, spree killer Kit Carruthers Martin Sheen , is sometimes described as a psychopath or sociopath, psychologist Robert D.
Hare , a leading proponent of the assessment of psychopathy, has identified his girlfriend and accomplice Holly Sissy Spacek as exemplifying his concept of a psychopath due to her poor emotional sense of the meaning of events and her attempted mask of normality. However, writer and director Terrence Malick has said he considered Kit's shallow, bitter insensitivity to be a result of suffering and neglect growing up in the Midwest , and year-old Holly, though immature and mis-estimating her audience, to be a quite typical Southern girl wanting to help narrate and come off well but still give the hard facts, and not dwell on herself or on personal tragedies.
The increasing media focus of serial killers in the late 20th century, fueled by cases such as John Wayne Gacy , Ted Bundy and Jeffrey Dahmer , lent an additional momentum to the way psychopathy was both perceived and portrayed in film and literature, sometimes incorporating a hybrid of traditional psychopaths from early film and lateth century literature with the high-functioning behaviors detected in some serial killers.
The psychiatrist and cannibalistic serial killer Hannibal Lecter , most notably portrayed by Anthony Hopkins in the Academy Award -winning film The Silence of the Lambs , is perhaps the most infamous fictional psychopath of the 20th century. Lecter is intelligent and sophisticated whereas psychopathy is generally associated with lower than average verbal intelligence  , and his disarming charisma and wit disguise his true nature as a serial killer.
He spends most of the film in a cell, taunting FBI trainee Clarice Starling with clues to the identity of another serial killer, Buffalo Bill , in exchange for intimate details of Starling's troubled childhood. Lecter first appeared in Thomas Harris ' novel Red Dragon , in which he is characterized as not fitting any known psychological profile. In the film adaptation of The Silence of the Lambs , he is referred to as a "pure psychopath".
The novel American Psycho tells the story of Patrick Bateman , a yuppie serial killer working on Wall Street in the s. It was made into a film in Author Bret Easton Ellis has told interviewers that the book is a satire on shallow consumerist lifestyles, but also that the writing of the violent scenes was based on fictional horror and FBI material on serial killers, along with how he imagined "a psychotic who worked on Wall Street" would describe such incidents. Some commentary, including in scientific journals, has suggested the Bateman character appears to be a psychopath.
However, Bateman also exhibits signs of psychosis such as hallucinations, and as such appears to be an unreliable narrator ; it is left ambiguous whether Bateman is actually a serial killer, or is merely hallucinating about committing murder. In the book Girl, Interrupted and its film adaptation , the character of Lisa played by Angelina Jolie in the film is a rebellious, antisocial young woman who is diagnosed as a sociopath.
The film Primal Fear depicts a suspected murderer who appears to suffer from multiple personality disorder , who at the end reveals that he has been faking the disorder. In the original novel by William Diehl , the psychiatrist Molly Arrington and others repeatedly explain psychopathy and psychosis as if they are the same, inherently antisocial, condition. Harry Potter author J. Rowling has described Lord Voldemort , the series' main villain, as "a raging psychopath, devoid of the normal human responses to other people's suffering, and there ARE people like that in the world".