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A Commonplace Killing

Siân Busby ì 6 free download

And mother who lived in a war damaged terrace a few streets away The police assume that Lil must have been the victim of a vicious sexual assault; but the autopsy finds no evidence of rape and Divisional Detective Inspector Jim Cooper turns his attention to her private life How did Lil come to be in the bomb site – a well known l A very different read but I liked it Was very poignant knowing that the author Sian Busby manuscript was transcribed by her partner after her death You can see the difference In Writing from page 259 but her partner Robert explains that beautifully and does her such an incredible justice with the finished book I will definitely read of her 5 novels over the next year

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Overs’ haunt If she had consensual sex why was she strangled Why was her husband seemingly unaware that she had failed to come home on the night she was killed In this gripping murder story Siân Busby gradually peels away the veneer of stoicism and respectability to reveal the dark truths at the heart of postwar austerity Britai A very good book with well drawn characters and an involving story A body is discovered by two schoolboys Determining the background to this murder forms the narrative and is viewed from the different viewpoints We are introduced to Lillian as she tells her story her husband Walter who has returned from the war to less than a rapturous welcome from his wife She had enjoyed her years of relative freedom in his absence There is the growing relationship between Tring a beautiful young Policewoman and the lonely but likable Senior Detective who is smitten with her can this relationship develop read on to discover As the tale unfolds each of the characters is portrayed sympathetically in the background of the post war era the reader can empathise with the best and the worst of human nature This is an engaging and enjoyable read sad and poignant difficult to put down once started This is even poignant because it was Sian Busby's last novel she died before the final chapters were edited Her husband Robert Peston introduces her novel and this is a fitting testament to her

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Set in the bleakness and confusion of post WWII London this gripping psychological thriller unravels the double life of a seemingly proper middle class woman found strangled to deathOn a damp July morning in 1946 two schoolboys find a woman’s body in a bomb site in north London The woman is identified as Lillian Frobisher a wife “You don’t need to be Sherlock Holmes to know this one can’t be cracked — no matter how hard you try Bet you a bob to a bootlace on that They shan’t thank you for wasting police time and money on a commonplace killing” So Divisional Detective Inspector Jim Cooper is told by an older and jaded colleague; however the terribly damaged Cooper thinks that everyone — even a common tart — deserves his full attention telling himself “Murder is murder” And the Cooper directs his laser sharp focus on pretty blonde Lillian Frobisher the he realizes that what at first glance seemed a trick gone wrong in 1946 still war torn London is actually something uite differentFrobisher still drawing admiring looks at 43 feels resentful of upper middle class women cinema stars her stupid husband Walter; her senile bedridden mother and her young free loading and free wheeling lodger Evelyn Wilkes — indeed resentful of just about everything to do with the post war world with its rationing shortages long ueues and austerity While her husband was gone Frobisher managed to use her glamorous looks to get herself attention silk stockings and perks from passing GIs and enjoyed herself despite the blitz On this day her last unknown to her Frobisher decides that she’s still young enough to start over with a new man and a prosperous futureTold alternately from Frobisher’s account of her last days Cooper’s account of his investigation and the blurred remembrances of a petty criminal a “spiv” in the parlance of the day coming off a hell of a bender A Commonplace Killing suffuses the reader with the atmosphere of post war London and provides a tautly crafted historical mystery — a most un commonplace novel if you’ll pardon the expression Too bad this will be the only DDI Cooper mystery we’ll get Author Siân Busby died of lung cancer shortly after completing A Commonplace Killing I mourn for that late Ms Busby and for what might have been


About the Author: Siân Busby

Siân Elizabeth Busby 19 November 1960 – 4 September 2012 was a British writerThe daughter of the Canadian actor Tom Busby and Wendy Russell she was educated at Creighton School in Muswell Hill and read English at Sussex UniversityOriginally embarking in a career in arts television she later switched to writing Her first two books were non fiction A Wonderful Little Girl 2003 concerned a



10 thoughts on “A Commonplace Killing

  1. says:

    This was a very good book Although it was a bit slow that was how the police did things in 1946 luckily it’s nit like that now and murders are caught usually very uicklyI did enjoy this book and it kept me interested to see who did the murder whether they caught the right one is for the reader to make up their own mindIt was uite a sad read as the author who was married to Robert Peston died at a young age before completing the book and Robert actually finished it If you can still read it with that in mind it was worth it Unfortunately there will be no of her books


  2. says:

    Siân Busby died last year and she left an extraordinary book behind her A book that brings a time a place a community to life; a book that pulls the reader back there to see and understand what is happening and why it is happeningThe war ended in 1945 and Britain celebrated But after the Victory speeches after the street parties after the reunions life had to go on There were painful conseuences as life went onMany men came home to find wives who had thought that they would never return Wives had been unfaithful wives who had changed as they had to work as they had to cope with the conseuences of war on the home front Many women lost their jobs lost their independence when they had to give way to men who had come home They still had to cope with rationing and shortage They still had to live among bomb sites in temporary accommodation in houses with bomb damageBritain had changed and in 1946 there were conseuencesIn north London two school boys found a woman's body on a bomb site At first police thought that they were dealing with another sex crime but they came to realise that they were dealing with something rather differentLily felt that she was doing everything holding her family together She kept house she looked after her frail mother she ueued and ueued for what little food there was Her husband bored her; her lodger who hadn't given her any rent since she lost her job infuriated her but she didn't have the heart to turn her out She took a pride in her appearance in her few nice things her occasional nights outAn ordinary unremarkable woman Whose life ended when she was strangled on a bomb siteI couldn't say that I liked her but I accepted that she was what she was that she was what life had made her A real fallible woman made of flesh and blood with hopes dreams desires I did like the man who lead the enuiry into the circumstances of her death DDI Jim Cooper was a veteran of World War I and one of oh so many who thought he had fought in the war to end all wars he hadn't and he had observed and understood the conseuences of the next war as he did his job on the home front His instinct told him that he would find the explanation for Lily's death close to her homeThe pictures that Sian Busby paints of Lily's world and of the investigation of her death are clear vivid rich in detail and utterly utterly real The people the places the times lived and breathed and I had such confidence in the author It was so clear that she had studied that she had cared and most of all that she had understoodThe story that emerged was psychologically perfect; the conseuence of characters and their circumstances And though it was natural the final revelations still hit me hardIt isn't a comfortable story but it is compelling illuminating and horribly believableA rare instance too of murder mystery social history and literary fiction working together uite beautifully


  3. says:

    “You don’t need to be Sherlock Holmes to know this one can’t be cracked — no matter how hard you try Bet you a bob to a bootlace on that They shan’t thank you for wasting police time and money on a commonplace killing” So Divisional Detective Inspector Jim Cooper is told by an older and jaded colleague; however the terribly damaged Cooper thinks that everyone — even a common tart — deserves his full attention telling himself “Murder is murder” And the Cooper directs his laser sharp focus on pretty blonde Lillian Frobisher the he realizes that what at first glance seemed a trick gone wrong in 1946 still war torn London is actually something uite differentFrobisher still drawing admiring looks at 43 feels resentful of upper middle class women cinema stars her stupid husband Walter; her senile bedridden mother and her young free loading and free wheeling lodger Evelyn Wilkes — indeed resentful of just about everything to do with the post war world with its rationing shortages long ueues and austerity While her husband was gone Frobisher managed to use her glamorous looks to get herself attention silk stockings and perks from passing GIs and enjoyed herself despite the blitz On this day her last unknown to her Frobisher decides that she’s still young enough to start over with a new man and a prosperous futureTold alternately from Frobisher’s account of her last days Cooper’s account of his investigation and the blurred remembrances of a petty criminal a “spiv” in the parlance of the day coming off a hell of a bender A Commonplace Killing suffuses the reader with the atmosphere of post war London and provides a tautly crafted historical mystery — a most un commonplace novel if you’ll pardon the expression Too bad this will be the only DDI Cooper mystery we’ll get Author Siân Busby died of lung cancer shortly after completing A Commonplace Killing I mourn for that late Ms Busby and for what might have been


  4. says:

    Whilst not much of a mystery the villain is identified about 12 way through this book is a superb evocation of the immediate postwar period with its shortages rationing spivs wide boys narks But I also found it unnecessarily heavy going Of course the setting is depressing the best meal anyone eats is fried spam with mashed potato but the central character DDI Jim Cooper is an absolute total pill one of those people who goes through life with his own private rain cloud over his head Even the presence of the delightful if awkwardly named Policewoman Tring who reminded me of Tim Ellis's Mary Richards fails to cheer him up Were it me even if I had no romantic interest in an attractive 20 something obviously smitten with me the prospect of sharing my detective experience skills with such an eager student would have had me off to work in a euphoric mood despite a diet of powdered eggs fish pasteSiân Busby was a real loss to literature She had a rare gift for historical settings I was fascinated by her nonfiction book The Cruel Mother despite learning about 19th century pseudo scientific theories of post partum depression than I ever want to know I loved the stuff on lace making though I hope someone will tell me how to pronounce Siân though Tried the internet and found Sharn but wondered if the r was sounded


  5. says:

    A word of warning the foreword written by Sian Busby’s husband Robert Peston is incredibly touching and had me in tears A Commonplace Killing is a deceptively hard hitting book No scenes of gruesome violence are written on the page it is worse than that; Sian Busby writes elouently about the time when the old rules were swiped aside leaving a grubby stain on the countrySet in Holloway North London Lillian Forbisher narrates half the story detailing the lead up to the murder The other half is narrated by the voice of the loveable Divisional Detective Inspector Jim Cooper With the war over 1946 had become a time where the murder of a tart in a bad area was now a commonplace matter but still one where Jim Cooper wanted the right results after all this was a time when if convicted the perpetrator would hangSian Busby certainly worked hard to research the time not just how Holloway looked but how the country acted the unrelenting continuation of rationing and the necessary ueuing the lack of real jobs for the men returning all give the impression of a nation who have won the war but simply can’t believe that life will improve Our protagonist Lillian is trying so hard to believe her life can get better while her poor husband Walter is struggling to adapt to life back home and DDI Jim Cooper is worried that love has passed him byI found this understated book a fascinating portrait of post war Britain the writing was engaging and the keys to the murder was skilfully revealedI received my copy of this book from the publisher in return for my unbiased reviewSee my thoughts on books at


  6. says:

    A very different read but I liked it Was very poignant knowing that the author Sian Busby manuscript was transcribed by her partner after her death You can see the difference In Writing from page 259 but her partner Robert explains that beautifully and does her such an incredible justice with the finished book I will definitely read of her 5 novels over the next year


  7. says:

    There is a very sad preface to this book in the form of a note from the author's husband Robert Person who is uite well known in the UK as a BBC journalist In this note he explains how during the writing of A Commonplace Killing Sian was suffering from lung cancer a disease which eventually killed her before she could finish the novel completely Indeed the final chapters were actually completed by Robert himself transcribed from his wife's notebook I think it's important to know this because it does explain the even shorter chapters and how the detail that is so rich and present in the rest of the book sort of trails off as the story reaches its conclusion I wouldn't say it's a crime novel in the strictest sense I think of it as a social commentary on the state of Britain after the Second World War a high crime rate poor food and a growing disatisfaction with everyday life The book follows one storyline from two different perspectives; that of the police detective investigating the case and the other of the woman whom if you've given the blurb even a cursory glance you know is going to be murdered The two do not run parallel in time with each other so are a little disjointedThe plot is predictable if you think you know who did it you know who did it but as I said I think the idea behind the book is less about the crime and about the people and the time and state in which they are living The characters are excellent I always think it's a skill if an author creates a character who on a surface level I should like but who I really don't WPC Tring I'm looking at you and the detail in Busby's description is spot on Overall a novel with a decent plot elavated by Busby's amazing eye for detail and ability to recreate a world she was never a part of


  8. says:

    A very good book with well drawn characters and an involving story A body is discovered by two schoolboys Determining the background to this murder forms the narrative and is viewed from the different viewpoints We are introduced to Lillian as she tells her story her husband Walter who has returned from the war to less than a rapturous welcome from his wife She had enjoyed her years of relative freedom in his absence There is the growing relationship between Tring a beautiful young Policewoman and the lonely but likable Senior Detective who is smitten with her can this relationship develop read on to discover As the tale unfolds each of the characters is portrayed sympathetically in the background of the post war era the reader can empathise with the best and the worst of human nature This is an engaging and enjoyable read sad and poignant difficult to put down once started This is even poignant because it was Sian Busby's last novel she died before the final chapters were edited Her husband Robert Peston introduces her novel and this is a fitting testament to her


  9. says:

    It is very sad that the very talented author Sian Busby died from lung cancer in September 2012 This a very beautiful well written postwar novel The memories of this story will stay with me forever This story has been read on BBC radio 4 The story is a masterpiece with two schoolboys who find the body of a woman Division detectives find the woman laying spread out upon the ground Somebody somewhere will be missing her It appears that nobody living near the murder scene heard or witnessed anything I recommend A Commonplace Killing to all readers and this would make good reading for any book clubs I hope that many readers will enjoy reading A Commonplace Killing by the late Sian Busby as much as I have


  10. says:

    From BBC Radio 4 Book at BedtimeBy Sian Busby Dark thriller set in post war north London 1946 Read by Harriet WalterObituary Siân Busby 6 September 2012What a pity


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