Sunday, 5 December 2010

Review: Cries In The Dark by P A Woodburn

Cries in the Dark is a thriller set in the world of scientists and animal rights activists. Alex's father, a surgeon, died saving her from a fire suspected to have been started by animal rights activists. Her mother remarries and she is then brought up by her step-father to believe in the benefits to humankind of animal experimentation. She is planning on becoming a doctor herself and has no qualms about potentially working on lab animals. However after an accident she discovers she can communicate with animals, starts working in a lab that is teaching chimps American Sign Language and her life changes drastically. After the death of her friend she is thrown into the hunt for a murderer and starts seriously re-evaluating her position on vivisection.

I enjoyed this book a great deal and found that, although it leant more heavily towards the anti-vivisection camp, it didn't preach and presented some arguments for both sides. An emotive subject has been treated unusually well, although one part made me rather squeamish. The end was a bit abrupt and I would love to know what happens next, although it did tie up all the threads. For me the only slight negative was that I felt at times when the characters spoke and thought the language was very formal and I couldn't imagine anyone talking that way, maybe I'm just too used to seeing contractions used in books to make the text closer to day to day speech. Interestingly the author is a user of the Kindle forums on the Amazon site, and she has said she will try and address this in future novels - it's amazing how much interaction it is possible to have with authors! It was only a minor niggle though and otherwise it was a bargain and well worth space on my kindle.

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