One of my reading resolutions has been to try and read more books from genres that I usually ignore. While I do read widely and eclectically as a rule I do find that crime and thrillers are an area that I neglect, I am always a bit scared that the books will be too graphic and that I’ll have nightmares after reading them.
I did however read Rory Clement’s Corpus recently, it is a historical novel with a crime at the heart – I thought I’d ease myself in gently!
The book is set in Cambridge in December 1936 and has several threads to the complicated story but at the heart of the book is the death of a young woman. Investigators are quite happy to dismiss the death as accidental as the woman in question was known to use drugs but her friends think that there is more to it than that.
While the action of the novel is firmly based in Cambridge the scope of the book is much wider ranging from the Spanish Civil War, Nazi Germany and Communist Russia with a side order of conspiracy theory around the British Abdication Crisis.
I did find this book a little gory at times, but it was a gripping thriller with a mystery to solve, and it felt so accurate that I did find myself looking at the world events and wondering which of the plot elements were true! The atmosphere was also very compelling – I really felt like I was in pre-war, cold Cambridge in December.
I’m not sure what I’ll try as a crime/thriller next – perhaps I’ll stick with Rory Clement’s other historical thrillers, if the action is in the past perhaps I won’t find it too scary!