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April 11, 2020

One Fatal Flaw by Anne Perry ~ a Review

by Donna Huber

Earlier this week the third book in Anne Perry's Daniel Pitt series came out. I hadn't read the first two books of the series, but the cover of One Fatal Flaw really got my attention.

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

April 2020; Ballantine Books; 978-0593129524
audio, ebook, print (320 pages); mystery
One Fatal Flaw started out kind of slow but I felt it had a lot of potential. It reminded me a bit of the British television show Bramwell. The young lawyer Daniel Pitt finds himself taking on an arson/murder case in which a known ruffian is accused. The accused has been known to engage in low-level crime and is a rival of the deceased. The man's girlfriend seeks Daniel's help even though they cannot pay. It seems Daniel has a soft spot for the underdog and even if he is guilty he still deserves a defense. That is how the law and justice work.

However, the mystery of the warehouse fire and subsequent death isn't really the focus of the book. Instead, we are introduced to the true focus of the plot in the course of the trial. Sir Barnabas Saltram is the foremost expert on fire and forensic science, which in 1910 is still in its infancy. The daughter of Daniel's boss, a woman he considers a friend and who has helped him before, happens to be acquainted with Sir Barnabas and offers an introduction. When Sir Barnabas testifies, his word is taken law and the jury quickly acquits Robert Adwell.

But when a few months later there is another dock fire resulting in a death, it is Robert Adwell who is dead and his girlfriend is accused. The defense worked before so it should work again. But this time Daniel knows the girlfriend is guilty. What is he going to do?

There is little about the investigation as this case is just the catalyst for Miriam and Daniel to discredit  Sir Barnabas. Miriam has a history with the man, an unpleasant one, and in part, it feels like personal revenge, which I don't particularly like in my protagonists of mystery novels.

So the plotted wasn't all that interesting to me. I would have preferred the story to stay focused on the murder and arson cases, but instead, the plot became about knocking a man off his high horse. That would have been fine if it had remained about the scientific basis of his findings but instead it devolved into a slugfest and slander.

On top of a plot that didn't interest me, I didn't connect with the characters. They seemed to have little personality. I suppose there is suppose to be a love interest between Daniel and Miriam, but it lacked emotion. Is it just the social norms of the early 1900s that leads to an almost a coldness between the two? Yes, they both think well of the other, respect each other. But more to it than friendship? I didn't feel it. Perhaps I would have felt more of a connection with the characters if I had followed the series from the beginning.

It is always disappointing when a book doesn't live up to expectations. I feel that it is more a matter of personal preference than the actual book. I'm sure many people will enjoy it.

Buy One Fatal Flaw at Amazon

Donna Huber is an avid reader and natural encourager. She is the founder of Girl Who Reads and the author of how-to marketing book Secrets to a Successful Blog Tour

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  1. I started reading Anne Perry a while ago, and found her interesting background to be colorful. I'll have to pick more of her works up during this time. Happy Easter.