I live in Bristol UK literary fiction and crime are my books of choice and when not reading I like to run
The hero of Something to Die for (and I think he is a hero) is Andrew. Andrew could best be described as socially inept in that he lacks certain social skills and finds it difficult to mix with people and judge their reactions. So he disappears into his world of model railways and finds it much easier to mix with the faceless few railway enthusiasts online who are somewhat cliquish and unsociable in pursuit of their hobby. Andrew works for the council in a somewhat unusual role; he visits the houses of recently departed tenants, destitute people who have no next of kin, and it is his job to trace relatives, and hopefully they will help fund the funeral, if not it falls under the auspices of the council to provide a paupers grave. Andrew has created a fictitious world, in his need to be wanted by his work colleagues, pretending he is happily married to Diane with two lovely children Steph and David. A change occurs in his life when Peggy comes to work with the council and in particular as a colleague to Andrew. There is a certain attraction between the two, is it really possible that this strange likeable young man might at long last find some happiness
This was a very enjoyable, funny, poignant and ultimately uplifting book, a joy to read from start to finish. There are some genuinely laugh out moments but equally some compelling thoughtful observations…..”because as Andrew had discovered, once you’ve smelled death it never leaves you”……”Peggy had hugged him. This wasn’t physical contact through formality-an introductory handshake. Nor was it the unavoidable touch of the barber or dentist, or a stranger on a packed train. It had been a genuine gesture of warmth, and for that second and a half he was reminded about how it felt to let someone in”……. Many thanks to the good people of Netgalley for a gratis copy in return for an honest review and that is what I have written.