The Cleansing

The CleansingThe Cleansing by Bill Rogers

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

The woman, early 40s, overly large chested, heavy of foot, curly brown hair, shot through with the occasional blonde highlights and red lowlights, wearing dark grey Superdry tracksuit trousers, a white long sleeve tshirt and a wine red hoodie, living in Kingston, an ancient town with a long history of blah blah blah, sat down wearily on her bed. The bedroom had a bed made up to look like a wrought iron bed but the headboard and footboard were in fact more plastic than metal, the sort of bed sold in IKEA in the early 2000s. The bed had a thin blue and white striped flannel duvet set and was badly made. There were three bookcases overflowing with books, mainly cookery and craft books. A fourth bookcase was used to store craft materials. There was a real wood chest of drawers laden with junk on top and a cheap wardrobe, also from IKEA. She reached for her iPhone 6, grasped her fingers around it and typed in the passcode, forgetting again about the fingerprint recognition that was found in that model. She searched the screen for the Audible icon, with its orange background and white symbol like a book. She used her finger to tap the icon. Once into her list of available audiobooks, she tapped The Cleansing by Bill Rogers, which was at the top of the list because the app designers had designed it so that the most recently played book was always at the top of the list. She picked up her cross stitch of a Mario design, circa 1990s and started to reluctantly listen. She really didn’t like this book, with its overblown narrative, no detail spared, no matter how mind numbingly inane, but she hated giving up on books half way through and also she wouldn’t have any more Audible credits for a few more days, so she gritted her teeth and got on with it, checking the app timer every half hour to see how much more time was left.

This was not a good book. The plot line was actually okay, set in Manchester, it follows a murder squad specialising in difficult cases. When a body is found displayed by a statue, the team is called in and it soon becomes clear that they’re probably dealing with a serial killer. The problem is the writing style, every single detail and action is described, in way too much detail, so it was like the author was constantly there, slapping you around the face, going “Look! I’m here! And you are going to picture this story EXACTLY how I want you to!”. It made it impossible to get absorbed into the story, I was too busy wincing at the style. Also there is a very cringeworthy romance element. The audiobook narration wasn’t particularly good either (or maybe the narrator was struggling with the material) but it so sounded like the voiceover for a rather dull police documentary.

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