Lesley Thomson: ‘The Detectives Daughter’: A thriller featuring two disparate only child adults!
Lesley Thomson’s new novel is a fantastic read, although you do need to be fairly keen on reading books with twists and turns and good descriptive prose. Lesley, an only child herself, has written a really stunning thriller that will keep you wanting to read more. The two main characters are only child adults – not ones you will immediately take to but ones who have all the quirkiness we only children often have. If you like crime fiction this definitely will appeal. Personally I am not always that keen on this genre, but I have to say the book gripped me throughout, despite not having a great deal of empathy for the two main characters.
Perhaps that sounds harsh but they do embody some of those aspects of adult onlies, which I know I find difficult, as I suspect non-onlies do too. The two main characters are both on the somewhat weird end of the psychological spectrum of onlies! However I believe this is the first of a trilogy so I am very excited to know what happens next. In particular, the actual development of these rather problematic characters is fascinating, especially because Lesley is an only herself and one assumes, as an author, she will be drawing on some aspects of her own personality. I am sure in her future books Lesley will expand on these characters so that we find both empathy and some understanding of their personalities at a much deeper level.
The story focuses on Stella Darnell whose father is the detective who dies at the beginning of the book, whilst trying to solve an old murder case. A woman is found murdered and her little boy abandoned near a statue along the river Thames. Whilst Stella clears her father’s house – she is the owner of a cleaning company and this aspect of her work is a thread that runs through the book – she finds evidence of her father’s detective work and this murder in particular. Stella has some very obvious obsessive/compulsive issues herself about cleaning. We know that as a child, after the divorce of her parents, she felt little connection to her detective father and became self-sufficient, independent and a loner. She empties her father’s house and becomes caught up, even obsessed, in the murder mystery he was trying to solve.
Meanwhile, the little boy, whose mother was murdered we glimpse growing up developing some odd behaviours and another loner. He is also, in his somewhat strange way, trying to find his mother’s murderer. Twists, turns, dead ends and lots of obsessional behaviours in the characters, make this book a real thriller and well worth reading. Some people have found the book hard to follow but I think it’s worth sticking to – not an easy read for many – but definitely an interesting one!