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Book giveaway this week: A Commonplace Killing by Sian Busby

(36 Posts)
RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 23-May-13 10:49:11

This week we have 50 copies of Sian Busby's A Commonplace Killing on offer this week. This gripping murder story reveals the dark truths at the heart of postwar austerity Britain. Sian Busby offers readers of Sarah Waters and Pat Barker 'a perfect whodunnit'. Apply for a free copy and come back to discuss the book on this thread.

Sian Busby died in September 2012 after a long illness. Shortly after she died her husband, BBC business editor Robert Peston, found the final part of the book handwritten in her notebook; he transcribed the final pages so that the book could be published posthumously. As he explains in the foreword to the novel, "I did not know, until reading handwriting as familiar as my own and hearing her voice in my head, that she had finished this exquisite work."

If you would like to make a donation to the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation, the leading lung cancer charity, visit

Clarecoakley Sun 16-Jun-13 17:58:19

Just finished this book, found it difficult to get into. The authors own story kept me going. Really noticed a change of pace before it was highlighted and found it to be a very worthwhile read. Agree on the setting and age of police techniques was really interesting. Overall would recommend highly!

Yasmin1 Mon 17-Jun-13 10:57:06

Thank you for sending this book. Loved the book, Sian draws you in very quickly into the story. Loved the way that you can almost imagine what life was like post-war. The characters too were so vivid in my mind that I could almost picture them infront of me. Shame that there was no romance between himself & Tring. Only slight negative was the ending, wanted abit more on the story there, but fully understand why. Great read!!

BigGapMum Mon 17-Jun-13 21:49:08

I was a bit disappointed with this book. Whilst the characters seemed real enough I felt that the story was a bit weak. The murderer was found, but there was no motive for the murder and no clues of the future of Cooper, Douglas, Walter and Evelyn.

However the author painted a detailed view of the atmosphere of life in post-war London and left me feeling that I knew a bit more about that time.

The introduction by Robert Peston was especially captivating and moving.

relaxedgirl Tue 18-Jun-13 14:24:34

I was really looking forward to this book but ultimately I was disappointed. Where the author excels is in creating/describing the atmosphere in London. It was interesting to read a book set not during wartime but in that period when the celebrations were over and disillusionment with the peace was seeping through the London population. However I found the pervasive atmosphere of hopelessness contagious and it left me feeling down. I was not gripped by the story itself, we knew too early on that Dennis was the murderer and Cooper's life and problems were not described in enough detail to make me care. I think the policewoman Tring stood for all that was unattainable for Cooper as a result of the war and as a result of his decision not to join up. This decision left him with a sense of self loathing that would not allow him to take any chance at happiness.

The future for Lilian's family was not even hinted at. It would have been nice to get some feeling of how they would cope with her absence- particularly her mother and her son. Would the sister throw the husband and his mistress out?

Overall top marks for creating atmosphere but less for the actual plot.

Jossykaye Thu 20-Jun-13 13:11:48

I agree with a lot of what has been said. Enjoying is probably too strong a word, but I'm finding it a really interesting take on the theme of post war. I don't think I've read a book that describes that era so realistically, those of us in later generations always assume that after the war ended, it was all joy and happiness.
Cooper is a likeable if stereotypical detective character. Found it a bit depressing to get to know Lil, already knowing she was a murder victim. I thought she was a really sympathetic character and would like to see her in a different story, getting out of her situation and a happier ending for her!

Kiwirose Mon 08-Jul-13 21:27:35

so I finally got to the end of the book. I just needed two weeks holiday to get me in the mood. Again I agree with a lot of what is said. I did find the book hard to get into but things improved by about chapter 4. The image of London that is created by the words is excellent and I got to like the characters. Although I think that the writing after Sian's death was true to the rest of the book I am a little disappointed by the ending. No romance? No idea of how Lil's family continue. No more about the murderer and why he did it? It didn't feel quite rounded off to me......but I guess real life is like that.

Liana83 Mon 15-Jul-13 19:54:25

I have to say, I really didn't enjoy this book which is a shame because I think it had real potential. I enjoyed reading and learning about post war Britain but that's about as positive as I can be :-( I really struggled to motivate myself to pick up and read the book which is something I rarely experience. I liked reading from different characters points of view but I think the story could have been far more gripping given the genre. Sorry! :-/

WhenDoISleep Tue 16-Jul-13 14:01:35

I have really struggled with this book (which is unusual for me!) and admit to almost skim reading to get to the end. It was really easy to turn to something else when I wanted to read rather than carry on with this.

I have read a few books set in the same era recently and would recommend any of those above this, which is a shame as this book had the potential to be gripping, but just lacked something for me.

countingdown Mon 29-Jul-13 17:19:19

I struggled through the first few chapters of this book, but really couldn't get in to it. I want to like it, just can't! I think I am going to put it to one side for the next while and hopefully pick it up again in a few weeks or months.

miluth Thu 05-Sep-13 22:16:18

I saved this book for my holiday and I was not disappointed, absolutely loved it from start to finish. Although this wasn't the usually genre I go for, the descriptions of post war London and the characters were so vivid, I was hooked.

whitewineandchocolate Fri 13-Sep-13 19:02:00

I enjoyed this book. A decent set of characters and a reasonable page turner. Enjoyed the description of post war London, it seemed realistic.

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