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The Breaker by Minette Walters
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The Breaker (1998)

by Minette Walters

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1,288206,082 (3.45)23
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    Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: In these character-driven and intricately plotted psychological suspense stories, seemingly devoted husbands become prime suspects in their wives' disappearances. As investigations unfold, disturbing secrets are unearthed -- casting both couples' relationships in a new and unsettling light.… (more)
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English (17)  Spanish (1)  Dutch (1)  French (1)  All (20)
Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
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I bought this book because it was very cheap and I had never read anything from Minette Walters before. I'm always looking for new (for me new) good writers.

Two boys find the body of a young woman on a beach. Her tree-year-old child is found in a nearby village. The police start to investigate the woman's death.

I actually was disappointed. It wasn't what I expected it to be. I thought that the story was almost boring and I was actually just waiting on a better part, but I couldn't find it. I need to say that her writing style was OK, but I didn't like the story. It didn't make me want to read more of her books. ( )
  Floratina | May 26, 2016 |
The only thing I can add to the numerous reviews is that on the last couple of pages the proof reading seems to of gone to pot as I noticed some spelling mistakes.
My first 'Minette".,,,apart from the brutal crime quite a gentle read. ( )
  RuthieD | Dec 14, 2014 |
* Inherited from Mum's shelves.
  velvetink | Mar 31, 2013 |
Unfortunately, a very disappointing outing. I am quite fond of some of Minette Walters' other mysteries, but when held up beside them, The Breaker is extremely weak. The crime, a woman's rape and murder, is brutal and horrifying, and nothing in the rest of the book, including the reveal of the killer and the explanation of his motives, stands up to those first images.

Everything feels quite cursory. We meet a cast of characters, but never quite get to know any on a level which would allow for connection and concern for their fates. The three police officers involved bleed into one lump, and at times it's difficult to remember who is who. All of the suspects are pathetic, miserable men who have thrown away their lives, and the child involved is by turns annoying and creepy. (In fact, the only saving grace with regards to the child is that she's barely in the book.) The victim is quickly revealed to be a greedy, grasping woman, and the side plot involving old money women fallen on hard times is fairly by-the-numbers, and while it shows a glimmer of interest here and there, it is ultimately rushed to a quick and unsatisfying conclusion.

There is little detecting going on in this mystery, as the entire trajectory of the story is driven by what the suspects and people who know or have observed them say. Much of the time it feels like a very artificial, "Ok, now we're going to assume this person is the killer, and now him, and now him." When the reveal finally happens, while it is disappointingly the very person the novel appears to be pointing to from the very first pages, it reads very much to me like a last minute rush to conclusion. The reveal comes crashing down in a rush of information, some of which is entirely new and does not appear to fit with what we know from the rest of the story. Without a better foundation of clues laid, the ending falls quite flat.

And as much as I enjoyed the small moments between Nick Ingram and Maggie Jenner, there simply isn't enough room for their relationship within the plot. Walters provides a smattering of moments that are clearly supposed to provide enough for the reader to fill in the details, but some of it (especially Nick's baffling insistence that painting someone's house is a form of courting) simply does not have enough in-text proof to suggest any depth between them. Their resolution, too, is rushed to conclusion.

Ultimately, I was propelled through the novel mostly because I wanted to find out if I was right about the killer, and to watch the romantic sub-plot play out. It isn't a particularly good story, nor is it abysmally bad; it'll kill a few hours, but you may find yourself ultimately unsatisfied by the conclusion. I'd suggest giving it a miss unless you are a huge Walters fan and a completest, and instead read The Ice House, The Sculptress or The Scold's Bridle, all of which are leagues above this particular outing. ( )
  caras_galadhon | Jun 12, 2011 |
At the heart of this story is a complex riddle--who killed the naked young woman found washed up on the south shore of England? On the case is Nick Ingram, local constable, and John Galbraith, inspector. Their lives as well as the lives of the suspects in the case are delved into and the reader (or listener) is kept guessing as to how the complex relational tableau is going to play out. Since the suspense relies more on the interplay of the characters and the underlying secrets of them it can take a while to really get interested in it, but once you do the story really engages your brain. Give it a read if you like psychological puzzlers. ( )
  debs4jc | Oct 6, 2010 |
Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Walters, Minetteprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Prebble, SimonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Marygold and Anthony. With particular thanks to Sally and John Priestley of XII Bar Blues and Encombe House Estate.
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She drifted with the waves, falling off their roling backs and waking to renewed agony every time salt water seared down her throat and into her stomach.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0515128821, Mass Market Paperback)

The nude body of a 31-year-old woman washes up in a secluded cove on the Dorset coast; at the same time, her 3-year-old daughter is found wandering alone in the streets of a nearby town. The woman, Kate Sumner, was raped and choked before being thrown into the water, and traces of Rohypnol, the so-called date-rape drug, are found in her bloodstream. There are just three suspects in the crime: Kate's husband, William Sumner, a tortured and sexually frustrated man; a handsome, charming but also very disturbed young actor named Steven Harding; and Tony Bridges, a teacher whose friendship with Harding is complicated by jealousy and anger.

Out of these basic ingredients, Minette Walters--the reigning alchemist of the British psychological thriller--has spun another complicated story of passion and repression. In the introduction to the reviewer's edition, Walters says: "Each character is portrayed in depth, and the solution lies in understanding what goes on inside their heads." This is true, up to a point. But what Walters doesn't mention is the sly, slow, and occasionally devious way she doles out the information needed to reach that understanding. You have to weigh the evidence of tidal charts and forensic tests. You must also decide whether the little lies of the characters add up to a big guilt. It's a plausible ending, but you may feel a bit manipulated. Other examples of Walters's alchemy: The Dark Room, The Echo, The Ice House, The Scold's Bridle. --Dick Adler

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:25:30 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

A woman's body washes up on a deserted shore on the south coast of England and her traumatized three-year-old daughter is discovered 20 miles away, alone and apparently abandoned. As the investigation proceeds, police shift their attention from a loner obsessed with pornography to the woman's husband.… (more)

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