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Fear in the Sunlight (Josephine Tey Series #4)

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  • Posted April 26, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Fear in the Sun­light by Nicola Upson is a mys­tery novel tak­in

    Fear in the Sun­light by Nicola Upson is a mys­tery novel tak­ing place in 1936. This is the fourth book in a series star­ring author Josephine Tey.

    Author Josephine Tey and her friends go to cel­e­brate her 40th birth­day at the resort vil­lage of Port­meirion. They are to meet Alfred Hitch­cock and his wife to discuss

    turn­ing Josephine’s novel into a movie. When a Hol­ly­wood star­let gets mur­dered in a nearby ceme­tery Chief Inspec­tor Archie Pen­rose becomes involved, yet he is unsat­is­fied with the way the inves­ti­ga­tion was resolved.

    Sev­eral years later, another mur­der hap­pens, also linked to a Hitchcock’s movie. Pen­rose goes back to the scene to try to uncover the truth.

    The rea­son I chose to read Fear in the Sun­light by Nicola Upson was because Alfred Hitch­cock was in the story, I had no idea it was part of a series and prob­a­bly wouldn't have noticed either until I read it somewhere.

    I was look­ing for­ward to read a good mys­tery which was some­what involved in Hitchcock’s movies. How­ever the famed direc­tor is a char­ac­ter in this novel much like any­one else. Granted, not every­one has his inse­cu­ri­ties and eccen­tric­i­ties but there is no Hitch­cock spe­cific take on the story.

    The story was very slow to start but once it got going it held my inter­est until the end, but the large cast of char­ac­ters kept me con­fused and I had to re-read some sec­tions to make sure I had the story correct.

    I felt the author was try­ing to do sev­eral things in this novel, while inter­est­ing none of them really shine or come to the front. The mys­tery, Josephine Tey’s per­sonal life, Hitchcock’s per­son­al­ity, mar­riage, show busi­ness, police work and oth­ers are all part of the story. How­ever, it seemed that Ms. Upson was also try­ing to tie her story to Hitchcock’s themes of voyeurism, sus­pense, mis­taken iden­ti­ties, the charm­ing sociopath, as well as wink and nods to the great director’s films (stair­cases, bell tower and more). While as a movie buff I appre­ci­ated those nods, I felt they pushed the actual story to the back­ground. I was less inter­ested in Ms. Tey’s part of the story and wanted to read more about Chief Inspec­tor Pen­rose who I felt was a more inter­est­ing character.

    This novel needs to be read with care and atten­tion, sim­ply breez­ing through it would con­fuse the reader due to the sev­eral sto­ries and time­lines. After a slow start, the novel is a worth­while read which deliv­ers on the mys­tery aspect being pro­moted.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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