Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Review of Snapshot by Craig Robertson - 3 stars

Author: Craig Robertson

Title: Snapshot
Release date: 9th of June 2011
Published by: Simon and Schuster UK
Reading level: FICTION – Adult: Thriller, Suspense
URL: http://books.simonandschuster.co.uk/Snapshot/Craig-Robertson/9781847377289
Pages: 400 pages in Paperback
Source: Book provided by Simon and Schuster UK for reviewing

Summary from Goodreads:

A series of high-profile shootings by a lone sniper leaves Glasgow terrorised and police photographer Tony Winter - a man with a tragic hidden past - mystified. Who is behind the executions of some of the most notorious drug lords in the city? As more shootings occur - including those of police officers - the authorities realise they have a vigilante on their hands. Meanwhile, Tony investigates a link between the victims and a schoolboy who has been badly beaten. Seemingly unconnected, they share a strange link. As Tony delves deeper, his quest for the truth and his search for the killer lead him down dark and dangerous paths.

My review:

I have quite mixed feelings about Snapshot. It was a very good thriller sending some chills down through the spine but it was also very dark book.

I have read many thrillers, but Snapshot stood out with couple of unusual aspects in his books. Firstly, the main character was not a police officer, but a police photographer, which definitely gave a different narrative to his books and secondly, it was quite macabre in its details and descriptions. Sometimes I had to put the book away while reading, because the descriptions got too much for my taste. I am not with the weak heart when it comes to reading thrillers, so here is a warning, if you are touchy and feely about reading the color of the blood, detailed and colorfully described shot holes and missing or broken body parts, smells from the morgue and the bodies - it’s going to be difficult for you to finish the book.

I have mixed feelings because the story was very good, there were some good surprises and I really enjoyed experiencing the plot through the eyes of photographer. At the same time, sometimes the descriptions slowed down the pace of the book. It was interesting to read and it really lived up to its genre – being a thriller. It was macabre and a dark story.

Regarding the plot:

Meet Tony Winter, a police photographer who is included into the investigation of several murders. The killings start with murders of two drug lords in Glasgow. Both of the drug lords are shot by a sniper. Tony sees details what the forensic team has missed and starts his own investigation after his friend Addison is getting shot. His investigation takes him to darker places than even he imagined. Step by step he comes closer to the guilty ones, but it also get more and more dangerous for him and to other people he cares about.

The plot was interesting and captivating, but due to the macabre details it took me more time to read than usually. There were couple of times when I had to put the book away, it got too painful ad too disgusting to read. I kept reading due to very good plot.

What disturbed me a little was that while I understood the motives of the bad guy to do these crimes, I was missing the deeper understanding of how this could happen and how come the police did not see that the murderer could be from inside? Maybe the idea was to show that in case the system fails, there is a danger that someone would take the law in their own hands.

Regarding the characters:

I think that the author Craig Robertson did a good job with the characters, especially main characters.

I liked Tony even though his macabre interest in blood and in death is something I personally cannot relate to. Neither could I relate to his eagerness to be included into the team who investigated probably the worst and ugliest crimes in Glasgow’s history – I actually lost track of the body count while reading, but I think there were 14 bodies involved. It seemed odd and even sick for me. But I still liked him because he also had many other sides of him. He was caring, curious, good friend and had a good eye into details, which was vital to solve the crimes and to find out who was behind these murder cases.

Rachel was probably the character I felt closer to. She was smart, ambitious and intelligent. She was not a typical hard kick-ass police woman with the bad mouth, what you often find in suspense books, but she had other good treats about her. Rachel was my favorite character in Snapshot.

I was surprised about who was behind most of the murders, but not because he was an insider, but because his character seemed weak. It felt like he was thrown to the plot to be the guilty without giving any prior information about him. I would have liked to know him more. As said, I can to some extent understand his motives, but WHAT triggered them – that was not explained well enough. I would have wanted more information about his personality and/or his personality issues.


Snapshot by Craig Robertson had its strong sides – the narrative and the plot were good, most of the characters believable, it definitely was an interesting thriller to read. At the same time, there were aspects which I did not like, which disturbed me.

5 Flowers!

3 stars.

Thanks goes to Simon and Schuster UK for sending me paperback copy for reviewing!
Happy reading!


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