Book Review: The Way You Look Tonight by Richard Madeley

The Way You Look TonightWhat’s it about?BBC 2014

Not until she was 16 did Stella Arnold learn the full truth about her father, how handsome, charming James turned out to be a cold-blooded, psychotic extortionist, racketeer and killer. Knowing now what her father was capable of, she decides to study psychology and the criminal mind, and to further her education in America.

In the spring of 1962 she flies to Boston where, being beautiful, bright and fashionably English, she becomes someone of huge fascination and on every invitation list. Then comes an invitation one summer weekend to the home of the Kennedy’s. Stella quickly becomes part of the inner Kennedy circle as they party through the hot summer nights. Both brothers, JFK and Bobby, make their moves on her but she firmly, charmingly, repels them.

Further south, on the Florida Keys, a killer is on the loose. The case, unsolved, begins to rock America, and with her specialist knowledge of psychopaths, Stella is co-opted by the police investigation and prepares to fly south…

My thoughts

The Way You Look Tonight is the second of Richard Madeley’s books featuring the Arnold family. Now, I hadn’t realised this when I read it but it was fine as this book can be read as a standalone without any hinderance to your reading or understanding. The first book, Some Day I’ll Find You, centres around Stella’s mother Diana.

In this book, the protagonist, Stella, is a young psychology Cambridge graduate genius who studies and profiles serial killers. She just happens to meet the Kennedy’s one summer and then finds herself embroiled in this cat and mouse serial killer investigation in the Florida Keys.

The chapters are mainly told in the third person, surounding Stella and the ensuing investigation, but there are chapters woven in from the killer’s point of view and these are very cold, calculating and disturbing. The scenes which involve the murders and their consequential discovery are quite gruesome so may not suit all readers.

I did find some of the plot a little far fetched, and I’m not really sure that the whole JFK storyline added anything to the story. If anything, it doesn’t portray the Kennedy men in a very positive light which I don’t if that’s the way they were or not.

I felt that the ending was hurried, there was this big build up over several chapters and then it was all over in just a few short pages. This was quite disappointing.

Here’s another book that I’ve read recently that threw in a love story when the main plot, I felt, was strong enough without it, but hey I’m not a writer. Oh, and don’t be fooled by the cover, it’s quite mismatched to the plot and didn’t really portray the storyline that was coming…all goes back to never judge a book by its cover!

Overall, an ok unexpected read that was somewhat predictable from around a third of the way through and maybe not for the serious die hard crime thriller fans.

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  1. 17th November 2014 / 10:01 pm

    I have this on my kindle. I didn’t realise it was the second in a series though.

    • 18th November 2014 / 9:09 am

      Fortunately you don’t have to have read the other one. Let me know what you think when you’ve read it 🙂

  2. 30th November 2014 / 9:18 pm

    Great review Lindsay, I’ve not read either of the books in this series but I HATE reading books out of order so I’ll have to look at the first book :o)

    Just a heads up to let you know you might want to check out the December link up post for the British Books Challenge that will be going up on my blog tomorrow. There will be some exciting news on there for you!

  3. 30th November 2014 / 9:59 pm

    Ooooh sounds exciting. Will do 😀

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