Saturday, 3 February 2018

Book review : The Dead Won't Sleep - Anna Smith

The Dead Won't Sleep by Anna Smith was one of the books that I picked up at The Works in their 3 for £5 deal. I chose it because the blurb on the front cover said it was as good as Martina Cole, and I wasn't disappointed. I raced through it in three days, reading way past my bedtime and almost missing my stop on the bus a couple of times, which is always the sign of a great book !

The gritty novel starts with three hungover guys disposing of the body of a teenage prostitute they've just spent the night with. While it is clear they didn't willingly kill her, with drink and drugs presumably playing a large role in her demise, as well as the sketchy memories of what actually happened, it is hard to feel any sympathy whatsoever for their predicament when we learn that she was just 14 years old. Especially as it soon becomes clear that they are bigwigs in the police.

Enter Rosie Gilmour, tabloid journalist and crusader for justice in the festering underbelly of Glasgow. With a nose for a good story and numerous contacts amongst the junkies and prostitutes that people the dingier sectors of the city, she soon uncovers a sickening network of corruption and abuse, leading back to the very top of the establishment. The higher up the ladder you go, the more dangerous it is to start rattling cages, and, having found the story of a lifetime, Rosie's greatest challenge will be staying alive to be able to tell it.

Journalists are often presented as blood-hungry, ruthless and largely immoral, both in real life and fiction, so it was interesting to discover a ballsy, relentless and good-hearted reporter to balance things out. The author, Anna Smith, was an award-winning journalist before she became a full-time novelist, reporting from the frontline all over the world, including Somalia, Rwanda and Kosovo, Dunblane and the World Trade Center, as well as working on major investigations to unmask drug dealers and paedophiles. I'm sure, even subconsciously, there must be some autobiographical elements in Rosie Gilmour, but in any case, her experience in the field provides authenticity and understanding of the pressures of the job.

Rosie is a feisty, gutsy woman, unafraid of putting herself in the firing line, sometimes quite literally, but her inner vulnerability gives her character greater depth. The reader can't help but root for her, both professionally and emotionally, as romance starts to bud with her longtime friend and confidant T.J. In fact, the only part of the book that disappointed me slightly was the very end, when she misses out on her happy ending and the chance of a quiet, carefree, new beginning with him. However, this is the first book in the Rosie Gilmour series (published in 2011) and the sequels, To Tell The Truth, Screams In The Dark, Betrayed, and A Cold Killing, hopefully give her the chance to close that particular chapter on a high note. I'll definitely be looking out for them, so I'm sure I'll be back with an update once I've read more in the series !

star rating : 5/5


  1. I love the works store, from children's books to toys, to books for myself and my fiance this sounds like a great story xxx

  2. Haven't spotted this book in The Works, but plan to visit it next week for a good browse. This sounds like a gripping book.


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