“Framed” – a review by Csilla


As comments are closed on posts here after some time, to prevent bots spams,  Csilla found herself unable to post her thoughts about “Framed”. So here they are on her behalf. Thank you Csilla.

SPOILERS, SPOILERS, so if you have not read the book, don’t read this.
I enjoyed it very much, and the slang was not a problem, it was easily understandable, although I do wonder how much shorter this novel would be without the generous use of the f-word (but not a problem, my favourite spy-series had “bloody” everywhere).
Also quite good that though it is not a first person narrative it reads like one: I think it never loses Frankie’s perspective and I like the kind of narration that flows from this approach.
Love that it is not the conventional crime story where the murderer and his motives are investigated: Frankie in the end only wants to clear Jack and if a witness cleared him saying it was not him who committed the crime, I suppose, Frankie would have left the rest of the investigation to the police, even though he was sufficiently appalled by the way of the murder.
My favourite part is when Frankie is running from the cops and then escaping after he found Star dead. It is already interesting that the police was called by a neighbour, not by Wilson/the Hamiltons, especially because otherwise it completely smells like the same setup of which Jack was a victim, so a good ploy. But I really like that Frankie gets away: we have seen a lots of police dramas where the cops always catch whomever they chase, so it is really nice to see someone to flee successfully and one of my favourite/funniest sentences is when Frankie says that if he gets away he will make his body a f-ing temple (and of course, he drinks a lot of vodka when he makes it home).
Kidnapping poor Baotic looked to me a little like “jumping the shark”, but I like the two observations by Frankie about this: first that he actually enjoys acting like a criminal (scary, but understandable), then when he is captured by Wilson and Hamilton, he does not like looking at Baotic, because now he realizes that he had done the same to him as what was being done to Frankie now, and Baotic must have been equally scared etc. It is quite good to put oneself into other people’s shoes.
For me it is obvious from the first time he mentions it that no tape had been made, and in any case, I don’t think it would be very useful to send a tape to the police where he was beating the witness with a crowbar to make him tell the truth. Dougie yeah, he would find it “useful”, but the police? Frankie would go to jail himself fast. But it is well played with Hamilton, and that is a very good part too: it is obvious that Frankie will survive, so the interesting thing is not whether, but how.
Finally, I kept wondering whether or not he would end up with Sharon and I know it is part of not having a happy ending that he did not, but I was happy about it. First of all, of course it is suggested, or Frankie suggests that he just screwed up, because when Sharon came he was kissing the other woman, but Sharon might have visited him to say good-bye, telling him she would go to Hong Kong, or anything like this. Second, despite Frankie not being a criminal, I can’t imagine that the kind of life he leads and people he knows would be conductive to a good relationship with a policewoman.

Some of my beefs, or loose ends not tied (to quote Columbo).
A small one: Chloe in that fancy brothel gives Frankie her number. Since there is no follow-up, it is a sort of action gratuite, maybe to show that yes, Frankie is a very attractive man, buta little pointless.
It was obvious that Xandra and Slim would have some problems with each other, and it was also obvious that Xandra did not take the money, so there must be another explanation.
However, it is a little strange that Slim thinks Xandra stole £400 (my monthly scholarship in 1995/96 was £600, so it was a lot of money), and then he writes the note and does not open the club: why would he throw good money after bad and since they already lost what was in the till, why top it up with more losses by not opening? Because of it for awhile I thought that the Hamiltons got to them too and forced Slim to write the note and then kidnapped them too.
Finally, the biggest: there is a lot of talk about Snaresby being a strange cop (with such a name no surprise), who must have known Frankie’s parents, Frankie’s father tells Frankie to be careful about him, Snaresby is the one who comes to the club after it is vandalised, he goes to tell Frankie the bad news about the grandmother not exonerating Jack and delivers some lecture too, so the whole thing builds up to some kind of big revelation about Snaresby, but that never comes.
OK, this was literature talk for now.

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