Resurrection, Roger Simpson

Reviewed By
Karen Chisholm

The second novel, spinning off from the excellent TV series, Halifax f.p., RESURRECTION is definitely an unusual crime fiction novel, which would work well as a starting point if you've not read the earlier book - TRANSGRESSION.

Unusual for a number of reasons, the first being the viewpoint is that of a concussed, and struggling Jane Halifax. A formidable and supremely professional forensic psychiatrist, a near-fatal car crash left her in a coma, then, on wakening, unable to remember much of anything, including who she is, or those closest to her are. A classic wake into a nightmare scenario that takes up a reasonable portion of the earlier part of the book, there are a lot of complications to that car crash. Was it deliberate, what's with the files she had with her, and should she have had them, and why is she just a little uncomfortable in the company of her partner Tim, even allowing for the fact that she can't seem to remember much about their relationship. The second unusual feature is that in order to restore her memory Halifax settles on the recall of an old case, the files that she shouldn't have had with her in the car at the time, and a young woman named Luna, whose parents were supposedly killed by her brother, the subject of Halifax's expert opinion as part of that case.

The earlier part of the book is deeply committed to the story of the brain injury and its effects which, whilst interesting, may cause readers to wonder slightly if this is crime / thriller fiction or a personal recovery story. The mystery does eventually become partly the car accident, and partly the story of the thirty-two year old case from Jane's past. Luna's involvement comes about as she wonders if her now dead brother didn't kill their parents (and she firmly believes he didn't), or is it a disguised murder suicide, and what are the genetic implications of being directly related to a father capable of such an act. A question that seems particularly pertinent these days, but that's not really the point of the story. The act of trying to work out what happened all those years ago becomes a kicking off point for memory recovery for Jane, as well as coming up with answers for Luna and her brother who died accused of something truly awful. It's at this point that the psychological effects of different types of trauma - Jane's personal past, Luna's family situation, the murder, the accident, the manipulators and deceivers all start to mesh together to create a fascinating exploration of damage.

Which makes the point of this novel maybe slightly less about the crime solving and more about the crime ripples, the affect it has on those around the edges for years to come.

The fact that RESURRECTION would work as a stepping off point may be a good thing for some readers. The first novel in this new (written) series has a mad, bad serial killer storyline, which many people are well and truly over, particularly as it wasn't (IMHO) particularly well served in TRANSGRESSION. Fans of the TV series character may also struggle with that earlier book, whilst this one, as unusual a viewpoint and styling as it is, will find themselves very much connected with an interesting, realistic and nicely complicated central character with oodles of potential for an ongoing series.

Book Source Declaration
I received a copy of this book from the publisher or author.
Year of Publication
Book Number (in series)

Jane Halifax is back in a twisted story of betrayal, where the formidable forensic psychiatrist will discover that the only person you can trust is yourself. A near-fatal car accident left Jane Halifax in a coma, and when she wakes, she has no idea who she is … Initially comforted by unlikely specters of past cases, Jane has no memory of the accident and is unaware of everyone else’s the police, who believe she was deliberately run off the road; the lawyer, whose files were in her car at the time of the accident -- files he never should have given her; her neurosurgeon, who fears a relapse; and her partner, Tim, who is slowly realizing Jane remembers nothing of the last two years -- including their relationship. A young woman named Luna is the only one who seems able to bring Jane back to the present. Linked to a thirty-two year old case from Jane’s past, Luna has a quest of her own she can only solve with Jane’s help. But if Jane wants to help her, she first needs to heal, and discovers there are things other than the car accident hampering her recovery …

Add new comment

This is a book review site, with no relationship whatsoever with any of the authors mentioned here.

We do not provide a method for you to contact authors for any reason and comments of this nature are automatically deleted.

This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.