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BOOK REVIEW: NIGHT KILL
BY ANN LITTLEWOOD

We hope you enjoy this book review by Caryn St. Clair.



“Hot breath from the lioness touched my cheek.” Told in the first person with Iris Oakley, zoo keeper, as narrator, Night Kill grabs the reader from the very first sentence. Books told completely in the first person are hard to do well, but Littlewood has done it masterfully.

Littlewood uses the full impact of readers experiencing Iris's life to build the suspense throughout the book. We're with Iris when she's working with the big cats at the zoo, and we're with her when she walks out on her alcoholic husband. We're there when Iris and Rick reconcile after he promises to stop drinking. We're also with Iris when she finds out her husband is dead, found reeking of alcohol in the lions' pit.

Not satisfied with the ruling that Rick accidentally fell, readers follow Iris as she starts to investigate on her own. The mystery is, of coarse, was Rick's death a horrible accident or was it murder? Why was he at the zoo that night at all? If he was murdered, why? There doesn't seem to be any sort of a motive. If it was just an accident, why are so many people so sensitive when Iris starts nosing around? So touchy in fact that the zoo director seems to want to get rid of Iris and Rick's best friend actually accuses Iris of killing Rick.

Littlewood was a zoo keeper herself for several years. Frequently, in an attempt to cram into a book all sorts of knowledge about a subject, authors leave readers struggling to follow the story. Not so with Night Kill. Littlewood has seamlessly woven the animal behaviors, zoo procedures, and other zoo related facts into the mystery while keeping readers focused on the problems facing Iris as she investigates.

On a closing note, while the book takes place in various settings, and even those with in the zoo are scattered about, a good bit of the action takes place in the cat area making the beautiful book jacket very appropriate.

REVIEWED BY CARYN ST. CLAIR

DO NOT REPRINT WITHOUT PERMISSION OF THE REVIEWER, CARYN ST. CLAIR


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