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Posts Tagged ‘Silence in Hanover Close by Anne Perry’

“point of view” in Silence in Hanover Close by Anne Perry

Posted by Lew Weinstein on May 25, 2007

·     Perry gets us into the heads of all three of her major characters – Pitt, Charlotte and Emily – and the omniscient narrator POV allows this easily and smoothly.

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“plot” in Silence in Hanover Close by Anne Perry

Posted by Lew Weinstein on May 25, 2007

·     having both sisters (Charlotte and Emily) take on different hidden personas was not credible for me. In a “Society” where everybody knows everybody, it seems unlikely that either could get away with it, let alone both. But Perry is such a good story-teller that I allowed a “suspension of belief” and did not allow my incredulity to interfere with the tension that these subterfuges produced.   ·     Perry has Charlotte, in her persona as Elizabeth Baranaby, sit quietly listening to conversation and asking herselp a series of questions. This helps the reader keep straight what is known and yet unknown about a complicated plot. Similar to what I did when Detective Watson complied a list of unanswered questions in A Good Conviction.

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“pace” in Silence in Hanover Close by Anne Perry

Posted by Lew Weinstein on May 25, 2007

·     Pitt asks one very short question after another, each one 2-5 words. This not only shows his investigative style, it moves the background process swiftly along.   ·     Perry frequently alternates family scenes with investigative scenes, breaking the tension, showing more of what Pitt cares about

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“endings” in Silence in Hanover Close by Anne Perry

Posted by Lew Weinstein on May 25, 2007

·     the ending, which I will not reveal, is, in my view, too quickly rendered, not quite believeable, and has nothing to do with the aspects of treason which Maass says took this book to a breakout level. It is also, however, a total surprise which ties together all of the unexplained threads that have puzzled the reader, and in Perry’s sure hand it actually works quite well. I’m ready for the next book in the series.

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“dialogue” in Silence in Hanover Close by Anne Perry

Posted by Lew Weinstein on May 25, 2007

·     Constable Lowther speaks in a heavy dialect, which is difficult to understand. The only reason this works is that he is a minor character, so you can struggle through. If Pitt spoke that way, it would be a good reason to put the novel down.   ·     Veronica is responding to her mothr-in-law Mrs. York … “Oh, I think the people are quite different also,” Veronica argued. “Argued” is much better than” said,” suggesting the tension between the two women.  

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“conflict” in Silence in Hanover Close by Anne Perry

Posted by Lew Weinstein on May 25, 2007

·     “Ballarat disliked Pitt and resented his manner, which he considered insolent.” … we know early on (p3) that Pitt’s boss doesn’t like him, and we sense why. This enmity between the two turns out to be of real significance as the story unfolds.   ·     Mobray was “told … by the powers that be as I should keep to me place …” Pitt will not have a clear path with this investigation. Shortly after, Mobray tells Pitt, “Don’t envy you.” Pitt says to himself … “Damn Ballarat and the Foreign Office.”   ·     “It took him a quarter of an hour to persuade the right officials and finally to reach the department where Robert York had worked until the time of his death.” Pitt overcomes a small obstacle, suggesting that perhaps he will overcome the larger obstacles as well.   ·     Charlotte explains to Radley how she will investigate Pitt’s case. “But will Pitt approve?” … “Thomas won’t have to know.” This is conflict coming big time. However, when Pitt finds out what Charlotte has been doing, he is so appreciative of what she has learned (about the woman in cerise being seen in the Danver house as well as the York) that he expresses no anger. Not realistic.

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“character” in Silence in Hanover Close by Anne Perry

Posted by Lew Weinstein on May 25, 2007

·     the characterization of Inspector Pitt begins on the first page, through the eyes of the sergeant … “He did not meet the sergeant’s conception of a senior officer … downright scruffy … the man let the force down. Still, the sergeant had heard Pitt’s name and spoke with some respect.” Is Perry writing for readers who have read the previous books, or for the reader who has not read any of the Pitt series? She must accommodate both.   ·     Pitt feels guilty at taking the case from another man, and uncomfortable with his evasive poking around … we have an immediate (p2) sense that we are dealing with a man of exceptional integrity   ·     “Mobray took a deep breath and sighed slowly. “The elder Mrs. York was a remarkable woman …” This begins the characterization of Mrs. York, who turns out to be a lot more sinister than Mobray’s infatuation would suggest.   ·     Pitt’s interrogation technique changes from simple questions to complex, and he immediately trips up the Foreign Service officer he is questioning. We are impressed that he is a skillful detective.   ·     “Ballarat … was the antithesis of the disheveled Pitt, whose every garment was at odds with another …” … characterization repeated for emphasis. Why did Perry choose this means of describing Pitt? Does his manner of dress play an actual role in his subsequent actions? For all this emphasis, it should, but I don’t recall that it does.   ·     Charlotte is first mentioned on p17. Her first words are “Any interesting cases?” If the reader is familiar with the series, this would be in character with earlier stories. If not, it serves to set her character and an important aspect of their relationship in just 3 words.   ·     Emily, who will be such a major player in this story, is briefly mentioned, but not truly introduced until p29. The initial characterization of her starts out as a description, from Emily’s perspective, of her recently murdered husband George, but evolves in a few sentences into a self-characterization of her feelings for George, her wisdom, her intolerance for injustice, and her evolution into someone more like Charlotte – opinionated, quick to anger, and a fighter against “all she perceived to be wrong” even if “sometimes hasty.” A perfect setup, in one paragraph, for the role Emily will play.   ·     Jack Radley entered … casually dressed … his tailor was clearly his chief creditor … his smile … those remarkable eyes.” All this from Emily’s pov (which the omniscient narrator knows, tells us about Radley and Emily’s feelings for him. Next page: “his eyelashes still shadowed his cheek.” Another reference to his eyes, his individualizing feature.   ·     Mrs. York. They are discussing the winter art exhibit at the Royal Academy, and Charlotte says she does not paint very well. “I had not supposed you to enter a work, Miss Barnaby, merely to observe.” Nasty! We don’t like Mrs. York.   ·     Pitt’s persistence is shown in his relentless pursuit of leads, even after so many of them turn prove unproductive (at least for now).

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“beginnings” in Silence in Hanover Close by Anne Perry

Posted by Lew Weinstein on May 25, 2007

·     first line … “Police station, sir!” takes you right into the story.   ·     the first hook (p2) is the opening of a 3 year old burglary case. why? why now?   ·     the old case involves “the delicate question of a woman’s reputation, a distinguished victim from a powerful family, and treason”   ·     “you’d better speak to Constable Lowther first; he found the body” … this case was introduced as a burglary; now we find out (p3) that it’s a murder as well … the reader’s interest is heightened.

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