I'm pleased to share with you my review of The Man In The Needlecord Jacket as part of the blog tour. It is written with thanks to Anne Cater for inviting me to participate, and Linda MacDonald and Matador for my copy of the book.
Sarah is in her fifties, and has been with Coll for ten years. She loves Coll, and is frustrated by his reluctance to make plans with her. When Coll meets Felicity, a woman struggling to come to terms with her impending divorce, Sarah's world comes crashing down. What does the future hold for Coll, Sarah and Felicity.
The Man In The Needlecord Jacket is narrated in alternate chapters by Sarah and Felicity. This is an effective technique, as it means that whilst the two women know very little about each other and the situation in which they find themselves, the reader knows everything. My knowledge of what was happening made it difficult for me to like Coll, and there were times when I wanted to shake the women (especially Sarah) and ask them what they were doing! I enjoyed being able to get so involved in the novel, and admire MacDonald's ability to create such believable characters, particularly as their age, circumstances and life experiences are so different to my own, yet I still felt able to relate to them.
I am used to reading crime and thriller novels, where the action and suspense often hits you straight away. The Man In The Needlecord Jacket is very different to this, in that the tension (which usually exists within the relationships in the novel) creeps up on the reader slowly. I think I found the novel more enjoyable because of this, as the subtlety gave me the opportunity to reflect on the dynamics of each relationship.
Although The Man In The Needlecord Jacket works well as a standalone novel, I have, since finishing the book, discovered that it is the fourth novel in a series. I am now eager to read the rest!
Don't forget to visit the other stops on the tour!