The central characters and their relationship are the book’s strengths. Will is tortured by his demons and takes himself painfully seriously; Sarah longs to be a doctor, but is frustrated that her ambition is regarded as ridiculous. However, the murder mystery is rather unconvincing and the writing less witty than in the first book. Still, it’s definitely worth a read — the characters and setting are wonderful, and the screenwriters behind Killing Eve are working on a TV series.
The Art Of Dying is a more complex book than its predecessor, the strands are woven together in a more assured way, and the sentences flow more easily. There is sharp humour – I laughed out loud at Will fending off a would-be cutpurse with a line from Crocodile Dundee – and heartfelt emotion, particularly in several scenes involving Sarah’s husband. For any reader in need of a swift-acting tonic, I prescribe picking up this thriller as soon as possible.