Book Reviews

Madman Walking – L. F. Robertson

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I received a copy of this book from the publisher in return for an honest review.

Robertson’s second book and just like the first it didn’t disappoint. We follow Janet Moodie as she takes on another death row case where the accused may actually be innocent. Howard Henley has been jailed for arranging the shooting of a drug dealer but it is clear to Janet that he had nothing to do with it, so why is he on death row? With time running out and danger lurking in every dark corner, can Janet prove that Howard is innocent before it’s too late?

Janet is back and trying to live her peaceful live with her dog until she receives a call from an old colleague about Howard, a man on death row who is convinced of his innocence. Relenting, she goes to visit Howard. Spurting conspiracy theories about his imprisonment it’s difficult to get the information they need from him and to help matters the prosecution are being more difficult than normal. What follows is a story with missing evidence, unreliable and dead witnesses with the truth staring you in the face the whole time.

We learn a little bit more about Janet’s life before her husband’s death after meeting some of her old colleagues. I really like that Robertson has decided to reveal information this way, it shows a commitment to her character and a longevity which I hope will continue. She has written Howard and his family well also, instead of just seeing a supportive family we see how mental illness and imprisonment affects other family members. While these are only small snippets their impact is felt and is felt by Janet.

When I first read Two Lost Boys I fell in love Robertson’s writing style and how her pace mimicked the process’s happening in the book. Like the first, Madman Walking follows the same pace and style which for a crime book is a refreshing change. The drawn-out process and Janet’s frustration are weaved together well and again it’s great to be able to read a crime book from a new angle. As a lover of crime (books that is) Robertson has tapped into a niche market and I hope more people will pick up her books.

Having said that, I know that this type of book and pace will not be for everyone crime lover. The majority of crime books (at least the ones I have read) are fast-paced, riddled with twists and turns with a cast of characters, Robertson’s are not and that is what I love. Instead of having a myriad of characters we have Janet, a woman who only wants to do what is right and live her life peacefully and instead of twists and turns we have procedure, time constraints and old evidence. And I can understand why some crime fans will not be able to get on with her books, it’s different from the ‘norm’ but for some it will be refreshing.

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