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by Claire Seeber
Avon, April 2011
416 pages
6.99 GBP
ISBN: 1847562078

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

After the death of her son, two years ago, Claudie suffered a nervous breakdown including disassociative episodes, missing time where she couldn't remember what had happened. She is working as a physio at the Royal Ballet Academy and trying to pull her life back together. But, when a bomb explodes outside the school, she fears that she is 'splitting' again, making her memories and her judgements unreliable. She feels she is involved and tries to find out how, but it seems no one is who they seemed to be, and if she can't trust herself, whom can she trust?

DCI Silver, in charge of the unit investigating the bomb, is also dealing with the fallout from an earlier personal tragedy. This comes back into focus when the threads joining the Royal Ballet Academy and a seedy strip joint involve a missing dancer. A girl he has a connection with and a debt he feels he must pay off.

This is a fast-paced book, a pace heightened by switching from point of view to point of view rather than a traditional chapter by chapter approach. There are enough twists and turns to keep the mystery going. The switches between Claudie and Silver's parallel investigations also help to keep the momentum going. The changes of point of view into other characters help vary the pace and highlight how every view point is unreliable.

If I have a couple of quibbles it's that I never really felt any real concern that Claudie actually had done anything bad. I also feel that for a suspected terrorist bombing in the centre of London, the Met would have had a much bigger team investigating it and wouldn't have allowed the man in charge so much leeway to deal with his personal life while active on the case. However I only came up with these quibbles after finishing the book. While I was reading it I was so caught up in the story that I didn't notice them.

FRAGILE MINDS is a good, tense read that will keep you guessing until the final pages.

Anthea Hawdon lives in the North East of England and has spent her working life in and around the NHS; she consequently takes refuge in fiction as much as possible.

Reviewed by Anthea Hawdon, March 2011

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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