By Lucy Harkness
St. Martins Press -
ISBN 0-312-28286-9 - Hardcover

Reviewed by: Susan McBride, MyShelf.Com
Buy a Copy

I stumbled upon THE HAPPY PIGS while checking about on bookseller' websites for first novels. The title alone makes it worth a peek, although what made me plunk down my credit card was the notation that the book was written by a former police officer in Britain working in the Child Protection Unit. Sounded interesting. What I found was less a standard mystery than a cross between Helen Fielding's struggling single Bridget Jones and CJ Songer's former cop turned PI Meg Gillis.

The story is in first person, in a rather stream-of-consciousness style. We get to know Louisa Barratt from her point of view, and she's a woman who hasn't had much luck in the romance department and isn't sure she's happy with her job as a cop, either. Part of the latter involves looking out for the young victim of a vicious pedophile, and Louisa has begun to notice she's gotten rather numb to questions she must ask and to the even more horrifying answers.

The mystery comes in when the new boss in her department is found dead in an alley and not of natural causes. Louisa's involvement in the case is minimal--she's asked to interview the dead DCI's daughters--but the question is: does she know more than she's telling? All the clues are there, so part of the fun is reading through to the end to see if your guess is correct. THE HAPPY PIGS should appeal to fans of mystery and literary fiction. Oink.

Susan McBride is the author of And Then She Was Gone and Overkill.

© MyShelf.Com. All Rights Reserved