Picking up the Pieces is a follow up to The Jigsaw Man written by Paul Britton. Published in 2000 by Bantam Press this book delves into the everyday clinical and forensic work of Mr Britton. He undoubtedly has extensive experience in his field and after reading The Jigsaw Man and enjoying it Picking up the Pieces was high on my ‘to read’ pile. I have written a post reviewing The Jigsaw Man which you can find a link to below,
The first third of Picking up the Pieces was engaging, detailed and descriptive and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. Unlike The Jigsaw Man much of the focus was on Britton’s work at Arnold Lodge and his work as a clinical psychologist. As I approached the second third of the book I felt it became rather repetitive. It felt like Britton was repeating the same story to us with different examples – something which I think is intended to emphasis the similarities in a number of cases but became quite the chore to read! The style of the book places focus on a particular case and then in the subsequent chapter moves on to another and then back to the original case which, when you don’t as much time as you would like to read, it ended up making me need to refresh my memory each time I had a break from the book.
I found the writing style, as mentioned above, repetitive in places and in my opinion it didn’t always flow. I feel Picking up the Pieces could benefit from being shorter and particular chapters or cases could be drastically shortened or removed completely.
I did enjoy the final two chapters which felt like more than just a summary of the book but an educated opinion of offending behaviour, victims of crime and the role Paul Britton has played over a number of years.
I think the two books can be read separately as there isn’t anything contained in The Jigsaw Man which would be beneficial to read before Picking up the Pieces. I would not suggest you go out and buy a copy of Picking up the Pieces now – unless you are somewhat like me and don’t like reading only part of a duo or series of books! However if you did come across it in a charity shop, at a bargain price or are able to borrow it from a friend and you have the time you may wish to read it and may well have a vastly different opinion to mine! I am aware of a number of negative reviews of The Jigsaw Man – which incidentally I really enjoyed.
As always I would love to hear your opinions, book recommendations or anything else you care to share!