Reason for Reading: I love that the pure mystery/thriller/crime genre is so much more easily found in the graphic novel format now. I'll always take a look when I see one and the plot had me on this book.
They could be your typical family: Ted and Biddy Usher, Biddy's mom Martha, and the three grown children, with the youngest in his last year of his school, William, Amy and Sam. But they are not, typical that is. It is Christmas and in the basement flat they rent out a horrendous murder takes place. Ted quickly makes plans to incorporate that portion back into the house as he'd been wanting to for years. Then family members start to die. One by one. Is it because of the wrath of a witch who was burnt at the stake there in the 1500s? Or has one of the remaining family members decided to get rid of the rest, each of whom has a surprisingly good reason for wanting the others dead?
An incredibly creepy murder mystery. Well-written with a plot that picks up suspense as it goes along and is quite difficult to solve since suspects keep getting killed themselves and the pool of possible suspects to pick from gets smaller and smaller. A delightfully tense and surprise ending with a final shocker on the last page. This is Mina's first graphic novel. She has previously written mystery novels and one series of comics. I am quite interested in reading something else by this author if this is an example of her technique. The artwork is done in black and white with a lot of shadows which I think is particularly suitable to this story (and others of its sort) as it captures the noir feeling that wold be missing if the gruesome scenes were shown in full colour.
Just the sort of thing I like in a murder mystery, gruesome, creepy and a shocker at the end.
on October 24, 2010
Wow. Okay, this book is officially tied with "Area 10" as my most favourite Vertigo Crime book. From its creepy cover to the last panel of the story, "A Sickness In The Family" is a success. Denise Mina has written a truly fantastic story, with its twists & turns and great characterisation, and Antonio Fuso's art conveys really well the sense of foreboding that emanates from the script with his clear, crisp pencils.
You know a book is great when you just *can't* stop reading until the last page. The story just pulls you in. Of course, as the story progresses, you find yourself playing detective and you try to figure it out... But a great mystery is one that you can't readily solve. So many suspects, with as many motives. And like the blurb on the back of the book says »» Until they start dying. One by one.
And the twist at the end... Brilliant. Mina & Fuso have met the quality standard set by (Gage & Samnee's) "Area 10", and people (mystery enthusiasts, especially) who don't normally read comic books will enjoy this one. This book is well-worth a purchase and should be on every mystery-lover's book shelf. 5 stars.