Too Soon A Death
Janet O’Kane has written a second book with Dr Zoe Moreland as the main protagonist, and what a book it is.
Dr Zoe is not your usual main character, she is neither the Police Officer or Private Detective trying to solve a case; nor is she the perpetrator, she is just a woman who happens to be a Doctor in a rural GP surgery in a village where crime occurs. The crime is seen through Zoe’s eyes and via village gossip. In fact the story is told in a way that 99% of us would see it, if it happened close to us.
The story starts with Dr Zoe being called to a riverbank close to her home. The body of a young man has been found. He has suffered injuries to his hands that appear to have been treated and she is only there to see if she recognised him as a recent visitor to her practice.
At the scene she meets Detective Sergeant Trent, a local Police Officer Zoe has become used to seeing, and who she aims to assist identifying the body. As in real life they swap pleasantries but the Sergeant only gives her the basics of the investigation, and continues to during the investigation, but she is never an integral part of it.
When She returns home Zoe is met by her dog Mac and her best friend Kate Mackenzie. As in the first book the deaf Kate is Zoe’s best friend and confidant. As well as being a single mom she is a Genealogist and works from home trying to uncover family histories.
Zoe and Kate’s relationship is more like sisters and Kate’s family have become Zoe’s adopted family.
A series of events in the village start to make it look like Dr Zoe is being stalked. Then another incident affects Kate’s family. Are these events and the body in the river connected?
Janet O’Kane’s narrative, unravelling the story from Zoe’s perspective alone, shows how easy it is to become afraid. How conclusions can be made and how worrying it can be to be either at the centre of a crime, or on the peripheries and not have the full picture.
The suspense is built up naturally as more small incidents happen without any explanation.
Is Zoe being targeted, if so why?
Has Kate dug too deeply into somebody’s family history?
And then there are the dogs. Local farmers are reporting attacks on their livestock. Where have they come from and are they connected?
This book was just like the first, No Stranger To Death; it kept me turning the pages. Unlike a lot of modern fiction Too Soon A Death does not rely on blood, guts, and sex, to keep the story moving along. The suspense that kept me reading was generated by a really well written story. It will work your mind, you will try to make connections, and kick yourself when you don’t get them.
If you like TV programs like Midsummer Murders, and Lewis you will fall in love with Janet’s writing.
If you are more of a Luther fan don’t dismiss this book it will be your loss.
I could happily recommend this book to anybody who likes reading. How would I describe the experience of reading it? Have you ever had that feeling when it’s raining or snowing and you’re sat inside with your feet up, in front of the fire, with a warm drink? That’s how I felt reading this book.
Janet. Thank you for this story and I look forward to reading many more of your books in the future.