A Bloody Hot Summer

I was invited by the author, Trevor D’Silva, to read his second novel, A Bloody Hot Summer, in exchange for an honest review.  The book is set in early 20th century England, and covers the time from the Boer Wars to The Great War, and examines much of the greed and abuses of that time in both India and South Africa under British rule. It is written, of course, in British English. This is a saga of an aristocratic English family whose greed still exists, but within the family rather than being visited upon those in other countries.

There are many twists and turns to keep the reader guessing. I actually recognized the killer early on, but began doubting myself as several equally likely candidates for blame rose to my attention. There is a large cast of life-like characters — so many, in fact, I had a little trouble keeping them all straight, but they were needed to be able to tell this delightful story. For anyone who loves a good murder mystery, I recommend A Bloody Hot Summer.

What made The Grumpy Book Reviewer grumpy?

The story itself is wonderful, and almost seems to be in the spirit and style of Agatha Christie. Unfortunately, the writing needs work, as there are distractions such as:

  • the voice of the narrator often sounds as if he is listing activities rather than describing action;
  • there are multiple missing commas, which can change the meaning of a sentence, or at least, confuse the meaning;
  • there are a couple of redundancies;
  • there is excessive and unnecessary use of the word “that”.


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