The Waiting series 1.5
I compared the first book of this series to a soap opera of a book. Which I consider a fair comparison, the style and pacing of the first book bares this out. As a follow up to the first book the funeral is perhaps therefore a feature length episode before the start of the second season. It is more Novella than novel, and bridges the gap between book 1 and book 2. While setting the scene for the next book by both trying up events at the end of book 1 and introducing some new characters to the mix.
To carry on with the soap opera analogy. One of the major ‘stars’ of the first season was Milli, the heart surgeon. She is perhaps the Joan Collins of ‘Rivers’ the soap opera. Sexy, sassy, and bitchy in ways Alexis would have been proud of. She is the bad girl you can’t help but love, and route for even while your hoping all her plans to fail.
In the Funeral you get to meet those members of her family which were only mentioned in passing in the first season, as they run to the defence of there matriarchal queen after the events at the end of the first season leave her questioning her life and the continuance of it. This extended family are joined by other new characters that are slipped into the mix while the cast from the first season deal with the fall out of the final chapters.
As with the first book Burgess and Hewes manage to make the narrative flow between the different characters points of view. Slipping in the new members of the cast seamlessly, while giving you new perspectives on the cast from the first book. It slides along from one characters to the next with a beguiling ease that manages not to lose you in its wake. A neat trick when dealing with such a complex web of characters and inter relationships between them. While it manages to keep the same style and feel of the first book, it also manages to bring more genuine warmth and depth to some characters who had more minor roles in the previous instalment.
Indeed the novella exhibits a growth in the style and ability of the writers, there understanding of their characters and plots, that bodes well for further instalments to come. While the first novel as a soap opera of a book this is closer to a drama series, crafty and clever with characters that become more real on the page than in the first novel.
My review of the first book can be found here : The Waiting