Semblance Of Guilt
By Claudia Riess
Ellen Davis is a divorced journalist who tries to make a living by running a society column. When she meets the Clarkes they seem like the perfect couple, but trouble brews. Soon, Davis discovers a possible affair had by the husband and later she is accused of being a mistress herself, and of murdering the wife. Meanwhile, she’s also trying out a new romance with a police lieutenant. Will the romance survive or will Davis be convicted?
I thought the premise was pretty good, but when I got into the book, I discovered some disappointments.
Ellen Davis: reporter, divorced, 5’4”, 37, BA, auburn hair, hazel eyes, drives a Honda
Pete Sakura: Japanese descent, police lieutenant, widower with a son
Graham Clarke: lean, 40s, administrator at Columbia, drives a Jaguar, light brown hair, beown eyes, wears glasses, degrees in philosophy and administration
Sophia Clarke: Greek descent, Graham’s wife, 30, black hair, brown eyes
Anna Mangione: married
There are a few other characters that stand out, Ellen’s defense attorney for one. I didn’t feel close to Ellen and I didn’t feel too much emotion emoted…if I’m allowed that phrase. Also, Anna wasn’t as much of a loyal friend as I might have expected.
Conversations were okay. I think a few voices came through, Sophia’s for instance.
The problems I had with the book were:
– It was difficult judging time passage, at least in the first part of the book.
– Sorry to play a bit of a spoiler, but the dead body doesn’t show up until 11 chapters in. Way too long for a murder mystery.
– There was no discovery of the dead body. One scene ended with Ellen running away from the house and the next had the cops on scene investigating the crime. I think this relates to the time issue a bit.
– No real tension throughout. No danger for Ellen. She went to trial and although I enjoy a good courtroom battle, there wasn’t anything for me to get excited about. The defense attorney was a disappointment and didn’t really seem to care about the case, other than keeping Ellen in her place.
The major problem was the climax…because there wasn’t one. The book ended with a 20-30 page, drawn out, lengthy confession and nothing more. I expected tension, danger, not a long explanation that could have been so much more exciting.