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Bloody Women Paperback – 1 October 2009
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|Paperback, 1 October 2009||
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- Publisher : Polygon An Imprint of Birlinn Limited (1 October 2009)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 240 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1846971330
- ISBN-13 : 978-1846971334
- Dimensions : 13.9 x 1.7 x 21.5 cm
- Customer Reviews:
'A delight to find something new ... funny, moving, horrifying and compelling'― Times Literary Supplement
'FitzGerald ... is adept at arresting openings, tense cliffhangers and tumultuous climaxes'-- Doug Johnstone ― The Herald
'Bloody Women is delicious, ingenious, inventive and mordantly funny. Helen FitzGerald has a real skill for making the totally absurd and goofy, thoroughly logical and reasonable'― Big Beat from Badsville
'Bloody Women is delicious, ingenious, inventive and mordantly funny'-- Donna Moore, author of Go to Helena Handbasket
About the Author
Helen FitzGerald is the second youngest of thirteen children. She grew up in the small town of Kilmore, Victoria, Australia, and studied English and History at the University of Melbourne. Via India and London, Helen came to Glasgow University where she completed a Diploma and Masters in Social Work. She has worked as a criminal justice social worker for over ten years, most of it in HMP Barlinnie, where she helped to prepare serious offenders for release. She's married to screenwriter Sergio Casci, and they have two children.
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In a tiny prison cell sits a young woman who didn’t get married because she was arrested for murder on the morning of her wedding. Not just one murder, three. And these were murders with a particularly spiteful twist, each of the men were missing a vital appendage! The three men were exes of Catriona’s, men she met in the week before her wedding whilst coming to terms with the fact that her home would soon be Italy with Joe and not Scotland where she has been a TV celebratory on an interior design show. So now Catriona sits at the mercy of the prison guard she names ‘The Freak’ awaiting trial and hoping her fiancé Joe will come to visit.
We learn all about this crime through Catriona Marsden own view of events as well as one of those hastily written, sensation seeking biographies that spring up around certain true crimes. Catriona, her mother and her best friend Anna were all interviewed for the book but Cat can’t see any of her words amongst the pages.
This novel shows Helen Fitzgerald’s ability to write black comedy that doesn’t let up but nor does it become in any way predictable. At the time the book was published, 2009, British TV was just coming out of the surfeit of design shows like the one that Cat presented – her comments about the rooms she made-over and her ‘clients’ were absolutely spot-on. She also taps into the culture of the Scots and the Italians, throws a few mental illnesses into the mix and stirs it all up with a few dashes of heartbreak. In other words this isn’t a straightforward mystery, although that element is there too but more a look at life for someone who doesn’t fit into what’s expected.
As the book moves from part to part the change of time and circumstance allows the reader to fill in the gaps with the new knowledge revealed. This is a refreshing type of device, although it took me a couple of pages to find my bearings at each swap point, it served to up the feeling of unease which pervades throughout the book. What happens is there are more people to worry about, because although I didn’t ‘take’ to Cat, or any of the other characters if I’m honest, I did sympathise with her. It takes a stone-hearted soul that doesn’t feel something for a young woman who has lost her way, as so many of Helen Fitzgerald’s female characters have.
I really enjoy the writing style characterisation and pace and this has only confirmed to me that this is an author with a huge amount of talent!
I had no idea what to expect but the blurb was interesting and caught my attention.
The story is basically about a Scottish woman, Catriona (Cat), who’s due to get married in Scotland and then live in Tuscany with her Italian husband.
She’s only had a few relationships with men, all which were quite long-lasting but invariably finished in less-than-happy circumstances.
Her best friend Anna, who Cat has known since school days sticks by her through thick and thin, even when Cat is accused of murdering her ex-boyfriends and put into prison whilst awaiting trial.
The story has some very amusing moments, especially the opening of the book when Cat is asked to identify a penis!!
Lots of twists and turns in the book, one I couldn’t put down especially as the story gathered pace towards the end.
Highly recommend for a great read.
Which is what Cat needs as she is arrested and convicted of killing the many men she had met, trouble was she was on the edge of sanity and sometimes she couldn’t remember if she had or hadn’t killed them. But Anna was there and in Anna she trusted more than any man, like I say to dark and depressing for me.
A good tale and I intend to look out for other offerings