I’m pleased to be sharing my review for Not the Deaths Imagined by Anne Pettigrew today to kick off the blog tour organised by Emma at damppebbles for Ringwood Publishing. Thank you to the publisher for my digital review copy – my thoughts are my own and not influenced by the gift. This is the first book by Anne Pettigrew I have read.
In a leafy Glasgow suburb, Dr Beth Semple is busy juggling motherhood and full-time GP work in the 90s NHS. But her life becomes even more problematic when she notices some odd deaths in her neighbourhood. Though Beth believes the stories don’t add up, the authorities remain stubbornly unconvinced.
Soon, Beth’s professional reputation is challenged. There follows a chilling campaign of harassment and she finds her professional reputation – and her family – are put at risk.
Is a charming local GP actually a serial killer? Can Beth piece together the jigsaw of perplexing fatalities and perhaps save lives? And as events accelerate towards a dramatic conclusion, will the police intervene in time?
From the author of Not the Life Imagined, this slow-burning tartan noir novel from a Bloody Scotland Crime Spotlight author follows Beth on another quest for justice. Reflecting Pettigrew’s own medical expertise, Not The Deaths Imagined re-affirms the benefits of growing up in a loving family and the need for friends in hard times, while offering insight into the twisted development of a psychopathic mind.
As I said at the start of the blog post, this is the first book I’ve read by Anne Pettigrew and I hadn’t realised that a previous book (Not the Life Imagined) would introduce many of the characters. I was able to read this without reading the previous book, but if you have the opportunity, you may prefer to read them in the correct order.
The main character Beth, is a busy GP and mother, who cares deeply about her patients, family and friends. Sadly, another local doctor, cares more about his image, lining his pockets with ill gotten gains and helping speed up the death of elderly, well to do, patients.
The book is set in the 1990’s and for those of us old enough to remember, a British GP was convicted of being a serial killer during this decade. As a former GP, Anne shows us, just how easy it was for a devious GP to take advantage of the patients and get away with committing ‘perfect’ murders for long periods of time. However this isn’t a non fiction book about that case, but a well written crime fiction novel primarily about the medical profession, with plenty of twists and turns, family dramas, a dog called Winston and lots of delicious sounding meals.
The suspense of the story built nicely, and I found myself getting frustrated at being interrupted when I was reading the book. For the final chapters, I hid myself away from the family, so I could enjoy the story fully. This is a no spoiler review, so I will just say that I enjoyed the end of the story and was holding my breath in a few places as the tension peaked.
I enjoyed this book and look forward to reading more in the future from Anne Pettigrew.
A graduate of Glasgow (Medicine) and Wolfson College, Oxford (Anthropology), Anne Pettigrew has been a GP, worked in psychiatry, family planning/sexual health, lecturing, patient/women doctors pressure groups, BMA Media relations, Homeopathy, acupuncture, an EEC Committee, book reviewing and journalism (medico-political and humorous articles to The Herald, Doctor newspaper etc: a Channel 4 Despatches). Retiring from practice, she became a wedding planner for a charity theatre, before starting Creative Writing classes and mentoring at Glasgow University. She is now a member of Garnethill critical writer’s forum and has won short story and article trophies in Greenock Writer’s Club. Not the life Imagined was runner up in the Scottish Association of Writers’ Constable Silver Stag Award 2018. The book was originally called No Sinecure, a title abandoned as no one under 35 in any class or group she joined knew what ‘sinecure’ meant (though some suggested it was apt, the book featuring ‘sin’ in those who ‘cure!’) Two more books are underway. Anne has two grown up children and lives with her husband in North Ayrshire.
Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/3hGmFOF
Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2EQdPit
Ringwood Publishing: https://bit.ly/2EQCMe0