THE NIGHT BEFORE
Rupert’s thirtieth birthday is a black-tie dinner at the Kentish Town McDonald’s – catered with cocaine and Veuve Clicquot.
THE MORNING AFTER
His girlfriend Clemmie is found murdered on Hampstead Heath.
All the party – goers have alibis. Naturally.
This investigation is going to be about Classics degrees and baronetcies, Instagram influencers and who knows who. Or it is whom? Detective Caius Beauchamp isn’t sure. He’s sharply dressed, smart and as into self – improvement as Clemmie – but as he searches for the dark truth beneath the luxury, a wall of staggering wealth threatens to shut down the investigation before it’s begun…
Thank you to the lovely team at Faber Books for my gifted early copy of The Other Half, it came with some delicious lavender biscuits which I thoroughly enjoyed as I started reading. Published on Thursday this book is one of many great reads out this month – meaning those cold and miserable evenings are made so much brighter with a great book!
Eloquently written, this book begins with the death of a woman, the girlfriend of Rupert who is having an ironic black tie birthday party at McDonalds. What follows is an enmeshed story of mostly upper class graduates, entitled and unpleasant – or perhaps that was just Rupert who was handsome and charismatic but really rather unlikable.
This is a detective story and I enjoyed the character of Detective Casius Beauchamp and his sidekick Matt -a quirky and endearing pair who fitted well into this story. Told over just a few days the investigation delves into the lives of Rupert and Clemmie (the murdered woman) to reveal a dark underbelly, a product of entitlement, boredom and opportunity, culminating in an intricate but authentic murder mystery.
I was impressed by the depth of this story and it stood out as a gentler way of telling crime fiction, an enjoyable and engrossing read – a woman is dead, clearly murdered but the theme is about unravelling that rather than a race against the clock to catch a killer and I liked this as something different, less expected.
The chapters were told by day of the week, but broken into shorter sub chapters, focusing on different character and their activity as the investigation progressed and suspects identified.
A pleasing read and one that I would recommend, the theme of graduates, classics and academia will hold wide appeal as well as an original crime story, less pacy, more considered than some but definitely not cosy. Out in January – let me know if you decide to add this one to your wishlist assuming you do, I hope you enjoy it when you get to it.
Thanks as always for reading.
About the Author
Charlotte Vassell studied History at the University of Liverpool and completed a Master’s in Art History at the School of Oriental and African Studies before training as an actor at Drama Studio London. Other than treading the boards, Charlotte has also worked in advertising, as a head-hunter and as a purveyor of silk top hats.