My Review (4 stars out of 5)
True crime story set in Northern Ireland where an apparent suicide pact turned out to be a double murder. Eighteen years after the incident, dentist Colin Howell confessed to police, telling them he and his former lover, Hazel Buchanan, murdered their respective spouses.
Although superbly narrated by Gary Furlong, this book got off to a slow start and took quite a while to fully grab my attention. Part of this was due to a lot of repetition – the accounts from friends, neighbours, church members etc, relating their thoughts on the murder and the two couples’ relationships, became tedious and for the most part seemed irrelevant to the story, especially as many individuals churned out the same hackneyed phrases. The book would have had more appeal if the author had simply stuck to the facts rather than trying to paint a picture of the hearts and minds of the entire community.
Having said that, the details of the murderous twosome’s relationship, their deceitful behaviour and the planning and execution of the murders, is fascinating. What is slightly unbelievable is how Colin Howell was continually supported by his church and its members – any sensible community group would surely have seen through his lies long before things got out of hand.
A thought-provoking tale, marred by a rather pedestrian writing style.