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. A deadly deception appears to be just that when Old Mabel Smith inadvertently comes across a page in a magazine advertising an adult chat line service. Mabel sees an easy way to make extra money as well as adding some excitement to her life - a life that has always lacked excitement. Blushing, she stuffs the magazine in her bag to read at home later.
She is immediately drawn into a world of deception - of her own making, which although initially taken up in a naïve innocence leads to unimaginable events for her and others.
After speaking to a variety of clients Mabel finds she is attracted to John who seems very keen to talk to her, their relationship develops and John wants to meet her although she declines for reasons told in the storyline. John is determined and unbeknown to Mabel he manages to engage her in various conversations which give him clues to her address...
Set in Glasgow this fictional work portrays mainly women's life in a Tower Block. It describes the circumstances they are living under and conveys the fears and troubled lives some of these people have experienced and the help they receive from various agencies With a few twists and turns of which some were
quite lacking in excitement for the reader due to - oddly enough other characters who have a story line as well. We travel through the ups and downs of the character's lives. The characters were portrayed well and were very life like. Many of the activities they did in everyday life would be what the majority of people do in their own life - therefore it was easy to identify with them as characters but hopefully not in their circumstances.
The story line of Mabel and John which also draws in two other main characters is in essence a very good fictional idea; however there are many other characters drawn into this story which I felt made a good story idea somewhat confusing and for me boring at times.
For some reason I really could not see the relevance of the other characters in relation to the plot of the story. I thought it was like two stories running parallel to each other with characters from both sides of the line occasionally having similar difficulties.
Still it gave me food for thought…
* On reflection the other characters (Which were not really related to Mabel and John in the story line) could have been added to give depth to the story of living in a Tower Block and perhaps because I have lived in a tower block I did not need that depth.
A point that interested me was that these extra characters were not mentioned in the blurb and yet there was a message to thank the agencies concerned at the front of the book; who had provided the author with information about their work. This made me think that initially the author had a different main story line for these characters but somehow 'lost the plot' as she took on the main story line of Mabel and John.
* It showed how some people are in the midst of danger and how others through innocence can put other people in danger. It also shows how flirting with strangers over the telephone (and I suppose the internet could be added here) could be very dangerous as we really do not know the true feelings of the people - all we hear or see are the words which are open to our own interpretation.
* Perhaps it was to show men in a bad light as most of them were portrayed in this way.
* Maybe it was to strengthen the story line and put a message across to the reader but it was lost on me. To me it just added bulk to the story.
*The two stories running parallel may have been that Mabel was tormenting a man in innocence not realising the consequences whereas the other characters were being tormented.
* Or maybe it was to show the good work that agencies do. This is what I think the book was initially supposed to be about.
I felt that perhaps the author could have made two stories from this book or perhaps two story ideas were entwined to produce the book. Perhaps the story of Mabel Smith could have been made longer or perhaps just written into a short story - which would have been excellent.
This was an easy read and overall I enjoyed reading about Mabel and John and the two immediate characters surrounding them. But generally I would say I found this a disappointing book with a very poor ending.
I did wonder on completion of this book whether this it could have gone under another title. As I even felt the title was not quite apt.
I loaned it from my library in hardback and if you would like to read this book I would suggest you do the same.
I have indicated not applicable refering to work by the same author because I know she has written about Glasgow before but after reading this book I would not be tempted to read any other works by this author. I have also indicated that the story was good - the story of Mabel and John was good but not the book as a whole.