Father and Sins

by Jo Bannister

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Jo Bannister was a real favourite of mine a few years back (2001-2002 - how I love my archives!) but in retrospect the books have rather gone down in my estimation. I certainly enjoyed them but my memory now is that they were rather over the top; full of huge explosions and near death situations for the same series characters in each book.

I found this one in the library, brand new and not featuring any characters I’d read before, and thought I’d see how I got on with it. I don’t think it’s part of a series but I could be wrong and it doesn’t really feature a detective, the police barely come into it, and while the main character could perhaps go on to feature in other books I didn’t get the impression that that was being set up.

The story begins with Agnes Amory, a dancer, being proposed to by her older fiance Robin. Robin has a son who just about lived through a fire when he was six years old who is now twenty. Just as Robin is arranging for Agnes to meet “Mouse”, as his son is known, Mouse is badly injured in a car accident and the couple rush to the hospital. It all turn into a bit of a Cotswold village mystery with churches, fires, ancient relics and whatever but manages not to be too cutesy.

On the whole I enjoyed it. I liked the characters and I think sympathetic characters are the key to making outlandish plots work well. There was one moment near the end when I thought things a bit out of hand but that’s the point in the story where the reader wants thing to work out too. In short the reading experience is as enjoyable as I remembered it and I expect I’ll probably remember the more ludicrous bits of the plot longer than anything else, but it’s good entertainment.