Posted in Books I have read

All The Little Pieces – Jilliane Hoffman

Crime Fiction 4*s
Crime Fiction
4*s

What would you do if you were in a car with your young daughter and a young woman knocked on your window and asked for help? Would you risk letting her into your car? Or would you, as Faith Saunders did, ignore the plea even though the girl in question was soon joined by two men. The moral dilemmas posed by this novel present the reader with a superb premise and this promise is realised in the execution.

This is a story of how a single lie by omission can have devastating consequences. Faith kept quiet unaware that Maggie aged just four had seen everything, and when the truth comes out Faith doesn’t only have to explain to the police why she kept quiet but to her husband Nick.

The girl who asked Faith for help was found dead in a field and Detective Bryan Nil is convinced that the perpetrator is a serial killer but no-one else in Palm Beach police department is convinced, but as links are made to previous bodies and with the help of Maggie’s testimony a series of shocking events are revealed. When the media run with the story Faith’s guilt for not acting sooner is magnified. All The Little Pieces manages to recreate the way that the media follow the public; at first the murder of a girl who is a dancer in a gentleman’s club wouldn’t be newsworthy, but as soon as they realise that the witness is a four-year old girl the focus switches and it isn’t long before everyone Faith knows is making judgement on her decisions.

Jilliane Hoffman expertly avoids falling into clichés or stereotypes with a book that is much about the witness as the hunt for the perpetrator. It soon becomes apparent that Faith’s personal life was far from that she presented to the world before the drive that catastrophically changed her life. This is an unusual take on crime fiction, the witness usually serves their purpose by giving a statement so it was great to read a book which concentrates on a different perspective.

With a mixture of viewpoints including Faith, the perpetrator and DI Nils the reader gets to see the story from multiple angles. I particularly liked DI Nils who came across as a level-headed investigator determined to get to the bottom of the mystery but not unsympathetic to the woman who had delayed it.

At first the author felt the need to over-emphasise certain points by means of repetition which I always feel is unnecessary and slightly annoying especially as this book clocked in at just under 450 pages a few of which could easily have been discarded. I was pleased that this tendency lessened as the pace picked up and the author trusted her readers to remember the key bits of information.

This is a superb thriller, well-written with a great array of characters. The tension is there from the start but ratchets up to unbearable levels as the story progresses to its satisfying conclusion.

I want to say a big thank you to Lovereading UK who arranged for me to receive a copy of this book in return for my review. All The Little Pieces is due to be published on 4 June 2015.

Author:

A book lover who clearly has issues as obsessed with crime despite leading a respectable life

24 thoughts on “All The Little Pieces – Jilliane Hoffman

  1. Cleo – This certainly sounds like it offers lots of ‘what would you do?’ food for thought. And the plot itself sounds as though it could be really absorbing. glad you enjoyed this, and good to hear that it’s free of clichés.

  2. Sounds brill! But I must be strong! I get a strange feeling every time I see this book – one of my blog buddies is called Jillanne Hoffman – just one ‘i’ different – and it really grabs my attention. The same applies to JK Rowling’s alterego, Robert Galbraith, which just happens to be my father’s name…and my brother’s. In fact, we call him JK now when we want to annoy him…

    1. Copy editors (and FF) take note: I spell my name with one “l” and no second “i” in my first name and two “ens” in my last name. I do find it a bit disconcerting for another writer to have a name so similar to mine. Especially since I may consider buying this book. Must be how the John Smith’s of the world feel.

      1. Yes, my first name (Leah) used to be unusual but it suddenly became fashionable a few years back. I found it weird suddenly hearing strangers call ‘my’ name…

  3. This one has definitely piqued my interest. I love books like these, which, kind of, forces you to wonder, what would you have done. Off to mark it

  4. A murder, like this, that includes a moral dilemma, no doubt proves to be a rich feeding ground for fiction. Just a curiosity question here, but did Faith find herself going for counselling? I know someone who turned away from helping someone who was then murdered and he ended up feeling very guilt ridden even though what happened probably wouldn’t have ended differently.

    1. There was an element of counselling but the repercussions for this woman were huge… That is an awful thing to happen, hard to know sometimes what the right thing to do is and what the difference in outcome might be – that was why this book was so fascinating. (sorry for the lateness of reply, I’ve had a manic couple of weeks!)

  5. I’ve read a novel by this author a few years ago. This one sounds intriguing, what would you do in that situation? I would not open my door but would call for assistance for the woman. Wonder how this plot plays out. Thanks!

    1. You’re very welcome Suzi =- thanks for stopping by (I did read your comment at the time but have been frantic for the last couple of weeks and just catching up with my replies – sorry!)

  6. Oh ha ha I thought this was ‘our’ Jilanne, and was a little surprised at some of what you said as i can’t imagine ‘our’ Jilanne over-emphasing with too much repetition, nor that she would write too long a book (considering how we almost fell out over The Goldfinch!) I think I’ll wait for Jilanne Hoffmann

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