Book Review ~ An Englishman’s Guide to Infidelity by Stuart Campbell

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Book Review ~ An Englishman’s Guide to Infidelity by Stuart Campbell

By |2018-09-23T11:40:53+00:00March 25th, 2016|Categories: Reads, Reviews|Tags: , , , |6 Comments

An Englishman’s Guide to Infidelity

by Stuart Campbell

I won’t repeat the blurb (see below), nor will I give away any spoilers (as usual), but this is a beautifully crafted, off-key story of murder, mystery, misunderstanding, and misdirection. How’s that for alliteration? I’d have added ‘confusion’ here too, but would have been unable to gloat over my clever use of M. By the end though, Mr Campbell sorts out the confusion and completes the story in a highly satisfactory way.

Told in first person by the three leading characters—Jack, the husband, Thea, the wife, and Fiona, the possibly deranged cop—this is a tour de force by Mr Campbell.

The married couple is well realised, believable, and described with all their faults and insecurities, but neither is completely likeable. Jack is weak and Thea is cold, and both have guilty secrets to hide from the authorities and from each other. I had a slight problem with the motivation of the detective, Fiona, which seems extremely suspect at first. By the end of the story, though, Mr Campbell explained her rather strange behaviour to my satisfaction. In fact, the whole story arc is extremely well handled, and, I can see this working well as a three-handed play.

By necessity, the minor characters are less well defined, but that didn’t detract from my enjoyment. They did what they needed to do by acting as antagonists and moving the story along rather well.

I have only one extremely minor gripe. One scene—the one with the golf clubs (no spoilers)—came as a complete surprise and should have left me shocked, shattered, and angry. Unfortunately, it didn’t, which probably had something to do with matter-of-fact way the victim reacted to it left me somewhat underwhelmed and a little disappointed. More should have been made of the outcome and the payback. In fact, I wanted more of this part of the story, but Mr Campbell preferred to leave us hanging. As I said, it is a minor gripe, but enough to cost the novel half a star on my arbitrary and rather harsh rating scale.

All that being said, I have no hesitation to recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys well-written, well-constructed, off-key, and darkly humorous stories. Nice work, Mr Campbell. Nice work indeed.

Thoughts on the cover art: Undistinguished. The font makes the text difficult to read when you view the cover as a thumbnail.

    

An Englishman’s Guide to Infidelity: a story of murder, mystery, misunderstanding, and misdirection by Dave Stanton

Jack Walsingham’s comfortable life is under pressure. With his bookshop going broke and past indiscretions catching up, Jack begins to dabble in embezzlement. Meanwhile his wife Thea, frustrated by a dead end in her career, is experimenting with some genteel theft of her own. But soon the couple are out of their depth, blackmailed by a figure from the past and implicated in two grisly killings. Their salvation comes in the form of Detective Sergeant Fiona Salmon, a recently widowed book-loving gym addict on the edge of an emotional melt down. A bizarre triangle develops, in which Thea, Jack and Fiona each find their own version of redemption in the face of betrayal and infidelity.

An Englishman’s Guide to Infidelity is at once a psychological thriller, a crime mystery, a dark comedy, and a love story.

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About the Author:

#1 Amazon bestselling author with the US-based Lucky Shores thriller series and the Ryan Kaine action thrillers, and creator of the popular DCI Jones Casebook series of crime novels, Kerry J Donovan was born in Dublin. A citizen of the world, he currently lives in a stone cottage in the heart of rural Brittany, which he took five years to renovate with his own gnarled and calloused hands. The cottage is a pet-free zone (apart from the field mice, moles, and a family of red squirrels). He has three children and four grandchildren, all of whom live in England. An absentee granddad, Kerry is hugely thankful for the modern miracle of video calling.

6 Comments

  1. maggiejamesMaggie James March 25, 2016 at 12:46 pm - Reply

    Sounds an interesting book – I’ll have to check it out!

  2. S. C. Harker March 25, 2016 at 3:04 pm - Reply

    I read the book, and you are spot on with your review. Well said.

    • Kerry Donovan March 25, 2016 at 4:22 pm - Reply

      Thanks, SC.
      A great novel, well worth spending time with.
      🙂

  3. P. C. Zick April 10, 2016 at 12:01 pm - Reply

    The title caught my eye. I’ll have to give it a look!

I'd love to know your thoughts...

Reader Reviews

  • His characters are extremely well rounded, with Kerry slowly building nuances into their personalities, giving the reader an opportunity to really know and care about them. That’s something few writers are able to fully accomplish, yet Kerry Donovan has managed that task seamlessly. ‘The Transition of Johnny Swift” is a terrific read, and I can’t wait for the sequel. Mary L Allen
  • On Lucky Shores has great humour throughout and the romance was handled really well … the plot resolution was fantastic! Ashley Capes (Author of The Bone Mask Trilogy)

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