A Commonplace Killing is set in London in 1946 where, despite the end of World War II, people are still struggling. Leaving their houses first thing and queueing for hours in the hope they can get a loaf of bread. One morning in July two boys discover the body of a woman on a bomb site. Detectives find out she has been strangled and at first presume she's the victim of a sexual assault but soon come to realise this isn't the case.The victim Lillian; unhappily married with a teenage sonand elderly mother to care for; often dreams of a better life. Some of the story is narrated by her as well as DDI Jim Cooper who's investigating the case.
To start with I loved this book, it's an easy read and I got through the first half very quickly but after that it did drag in places for me. I found myself continuing through the last third just to get it finished and not because I wanted to see how it would end. I'm not sure why, perhaps because it isn't really a murder mystery in the traditional sense, the killer is revealed half way through the novel and after that the story and characters didn't manage to keep me gripped. Sadly the author died before her final novel
was published, her husband transcribed the end from her handwritten
manuscript and maybe that's why the ending felt a little rushedfor me. I did enjoy learning what it was like living in post-war England. I've read a lot of fiction set during the war but not much during the period just afterwards, it was interesting to learn how people still suffered and dealt with those times.