Sunday, 27 August 2017

The Sin Of Choice (Part 1) by Paul Rudiak

The Sin Of Choice (Part 1) by Paul Rudiak
First published in the UK by Long Tale Books in October 2015.

304 pages towards Olivia's fun August Reading Challenge to read an average of 50 pages each day throughout the month. Total = 2753.

Where to buy this book:



Amazon UK

Amazon US




The Book Depository



How I got this book:
Received a review copy from the author

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Peter Thornton is a man in his early fifties with two problems: one professional and the other medical. He is a lawyer, and some of his clients are prominent members of the Manchester underworld. The diagnosis of a brain tumour turns his world upside down and forces him to confront matters from his past that he would rather have kept hidden.
His daughter has never liked what he does for a living, and she has always wanted to find out how much dirt is on his hands. She is surprised to find there is blood in the dirt, and that her father is only half to blame. His confession tempts her to search for the other party involved, which will lead her into the path of people who like to keep their business away from prying eyes.
Peter has kept his professional and private lives separate for over twenty years, but now his daughter's overconfidence will undo all that effort and force him to face his past, and thus acknowledge what fractured his family while he was too busy to notice.

I was introduced to Paul Rudiak by author Vikki Patis who suggested I might like to read his crime trilogy The Sin Of Choice. I love this grapevine way of discovering new books so accepted the offer of Part 1.

Set mostly in affluent middle-class Cheshire, The Sin Of Choice is a crime novel, but (for Part 1 at least) far from the usual genre offerings. Rudiak's central character, lawyer Peter Thornton, doesn't rush around one step ahead of the police, gunwaving and unearthing serial killers. Instead he is grappling with the implications of a terminal medical diagnosis and most of the book depicts his and his family's attempts to come to terms with the news. I liked Rudiak's in depth character portrayals - although frequently not the characters themselves! Thornton is a successful lawyer, albeit not a moral one, and we see his family's different methods for squaring their distaste at who pays him. This ostensibly perfect family is as cracked and flawed as any, yet is obliged by their social status to present a certain image to the world outside. Unravelling the sacrifices each has made in order to do this, especially those invisible even to other members of the family is a fascinating process.

Where this novel fell down for me is that it is the first third of a very long book and it feels like it. There is a lot of meandering introduction and circular conversation. I also felt that characters such as mobster's son Danny, who get significant attention, didn't justify such a strong presence at this point in the story. No doubt his role will feature strongly in the further instalments, but for me Part 1 centred on the Thornton family and I didn't want to be distracted from establishing and understanding their complicated emotional relationships.

Search Lit Flits for more:
Books by Paul Rudiak / Crime fiction / Books from England

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