The Way You Look Tonight by Richard Madeley

Simon and Schuster kindly sent me a free copy of The Way You Look Tonight by Richard Madeley (in fact they very kindly sent me two copies because the first got lost in the post) so I could read it and then review it on my blog.  This is Richard Madeley’s second novel, I reviewed the first, Someday I’ll Find You last year.

The Way You Look Tonight is a sort of sequel to Someday I’ll Find You in that Stella, the main character appears in both books.  She’s a child in  Someday I’ll Find You and The Way You Look Tonight is set ten ish years later when she’s in her early twenties.  I for some reason managed to miss the fact and suddenly realised about three or four chapters into this book having been wondering why it seemed familiar.  It’s not necessary to have read the first before reading the second because it’s not a direct sequel.

Here’s the blurb:
Not until she was 16 did Stella Arnold learn the full truth about her father, how handsome, charming James turned out to be a cold-blooded, psychotic extortionist, racketeer and killer. Knowing now what her father was capable of, she decides to study psychology and the criminal mind, and to further her education in America. In the spring of 1962 she flies to Boston where, being beautiful, bright and fashionably English, she becomes someone of huge fascination and on every invitation list. Then comes an invitation one summer weekend to the home of the Kennedys. Stella quickly becomes part of the inner Kennedy circle as they party through the hot summer nights. Both brothers, JFK and Bobby, make their moves on her but she firmly, charmingly, repels them. Further south, on the Florida Keys, a killer is on the loose. The case, unsolved, begins to rock America, and with her specialist knowledge of psychopaths, Stella is co-opted by the police investigation and prepares to fly south…

I liked Somday I’ll Find You as I think my review of that showed.  I liked The Way You Look Tonight a lot more.  And I’d like to read a third book with Stella in if one was written, this one ends on a very intriguing note that manages to tie up all the loose ends but still leave you wondering what comes next.

You might think that a book about a killer on the loose and a character with a special interest in psychopaths would be gruesome but it really wasn’t.  The way in which the subject matter was handled without the details being completely ignored or really comfortable impressed me.  It simply brought a somewhat gritty aspect to a book that was well written, had likeable characters and a little humour.  I think this made for a better book.

The Way You Look Tonight is quite a fast paced book, something that I think worked well with the plot.  But that said there were a few scenes where I thought it went too fast.  Particularly the scenes with JFK and his family.  Not so much because they didn’t work but because I’d have liked to have seen more of them.

I don’t give star ratings when I review books but I think if I did I’d give this book 4 out of 5 stars.

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