BOOK CLUB: Resurrection

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Resurrection is the second Jane Halifax novel by Roger Simpson. As a crime novel, it’s somewhat run of the mill, but as a character study of someone recovering from significant emotional and physical trauma, it’s excellent.

Simpson is also a screenwriter, and originated the character of Jane Halifax in a TV series around thirty years ago. I’d never watched the series, and came to the first novel, “Transgression”, cold. That novel works well for readers unfamiliar with the TV series, and Simpson has structured “Resurrection” in the same way. You don’t need to have seen the TV series, or indeed read the first novel, to enjoy this.

“Resurrection” opens two years after the events of “Transgression”. There are plot reasons for this gap, which eventually become obvious, but it also allows Simpson to avoid the COVID lockdowns. With something close to normal life reasserting itself, Jane is dining with an old friend and colleague. She wants to reassess a case they were both involved with twenty years ago.

As Jane returns home, she’s involved in a major car accident, which leaves her with serious physical injuries, including brain injuries. Almost complete amnesia accompanies these injuries. 

As Jane recovers from her injuries and seeks her lost memories, she turns to the case she had been revisiting. She wants to know what her renewed interest in it was. She also hopes to use her investigation as a tool to open up her personal memories. And in the background is another concern: the police aren’t sure whether Jane’s car accident was a genuine accident or a deliberate attack.

Simpson’s depiction of Jane’s brain injury and its impact is strong and nuanced. He tells the story from Jane’s point of view, allowing us to share her confusion and her frustration. I have experienced a brain injury myself, and can attest to how accurate Jane’s reactions are. It is hard to be incapable of things you used to be able to do easily; it is frustrating to know you are not the person you used to be.

This is the strongest element in this novel, and it contributes to a strong character study of an older woman who’s experienced significant emotional trauma throughout her life, and now is dealing with a new, pervasive, emotional and physical challenge.

Simpson is also frank about another aspect of Jane’s age: she is thinking about the choices she made when younger, and whether they’ve shaped the life she truly wanted.

One aspect of Jane’s recovery is the basis of a “twist” late in the narrative. Frankly, I’d seen this coming from early in the novel, so was unsurprised.

I enjoyed this novel quite a lot, despite feeling it is weak as a crime novel. As a character study which happens to have some crime elements, it is strong. It sensitively draws an emotional and vivid picture of Jane in crisis, both physical and emotional. Those looking for a classic crime novel might be disappointed, but other readers will find a great deal that’s worthwhile in “Resurrection”.

Copy courtesy of Simon & Schuster (2023)

A selection of our Beauty and Lace Club Members are reading Resurrection by Roger SimpsonYou can read their comments below, or add your own review.

9 thoughts on “BOOK CLUB: Resurrection

  1. Resurrection by Roger Simpson (Simon & Schuster ) is a gripping and exhilarating read! Full of twists and turns, a near fatal car accident has left forensic psychiatrist Jane Halifax, with severe memory loss. Her closest friends are strangers to her and even the face looking back at her in the mirror seems unfamiliar. Yet she remembers crucial details of a case from her past and it is haunting her…
    This is a fascinating book, not just because it is such a well written thriller, with relatable characters and an enthralling plot it is also an interesting and sensitive look into the mind, and how memory works.
    This is the second book in the Halifax series, and a third is on its way. There is also a Halifax tv show all written by Roger Simpson. I had not read the first book or watched any of the tv series but having read this one I will certainly be checking them out.

  2. ‘Resurrection’ by Roger Simpson is the latest book in the series featuring Jane Halifax. This follows ‘Transgression’ which I was fortunate to have read, so I enjoyed reading again about Jane Halifax and revisiting her past.

    In ‘Resurrection’ Jane is involved in a suspicious motor vehicle accident.
    She has been seriously injured both physically and mentally this has left her unable to remember. Her close friends are strangers and even her face is not familiar and details of her life are a mystery to her.
    As she slowly recovers and starts to have memory snippits of events before the accident she becomes fixated on an old case (20years) where there was a homicide and suicide involved. Recalling of an eight year old called Luna and strange rhymes add to her confusion.

    This was a great read thankyou Beautyandlace and Simon & Schuster for the opportunity.
    It was thrilling, absorbing and with unpredictable outcomes too! Written by the writer and producer Roger Simpson I recommend it! ( Jane Halifax tv series Halifax fp) is a series which is streaming which I’d love to see).

  3. Thanks to Beauty and Lace and Simon & Schuster for my copy of Resurrection by Roger Simpson.
    I had read the first one in the Jane Halifax series so was looking forward to this one.
    It did not disappoint. Jane is involved in a terrible accident which left her in a coma. When she awakens she does not know who she is.
    This books follows Jane’s journey to discover herself again and restore her memory of her past. She focuses on a twenty year old case as it’s the only thing she can remember.
    I look forward to the next book in this series.

  4. I’ve not read Roger’s first book Transgression but I have watched majority of the TV series with the character of Dr. Jane Halifax portrayed by the brillant actress Rebecca Gibney.

    This storyline is certainly a page turner from the moment you start reading.

    Jane has been in a horrible accident which could have been fatal but her life was spared although she was in a coma for a while. When she awakes, no memory of who she actually is or what happened to her. It was a bit of a hit for me as I have been in this predicament where you can just remember snippets of your past and it is totally frustrating so I could understand Jane’s feelings in a few ways. It is alarming when your memory goes.

    In the story a young girl Luna from her past arrives as she wants to resurrect a case that Jane worked on 20 years ago. She needs Jan’s help now.

    I was totally captivated in the story and who and why people were in Jane’s life. Unusual poems in the novel that were cleverly written and there was one in particular that caught my attention. Just couldn’t put my finger on it as to why when reading.

    It took me to the end of the book to then fully understand the whys and very interesting.

    The storyline is certainly compelling and had my brain working overtime. Kind of hope that this story comes on television as it would be really interesting seeing it come to life on the screen.

    Thank you Beauty & Lace & Simon & Schuster. Another fabulous book to read and get to know another author who has also been a Writer & Producer for television shows that I have watched and never knew he was behind them all.

  5. Resurrection by Roger Simpson is a Jane Halifax novel, filled with drama, suspense and crime. It is written in a way that it is easy to read, you feel Jane’s every emotion and the plot keeps you guessing and enthralled to the very end.
    Jane, a forensic psychologist, has had a car accident which has left her seriously injured and with amnesia. She has no memories of her past, no recollections of her friends, family and even her own face in the mirror.
    The police think Janes car may have been deliberately pushed off the road.
    How ever she does have a vague recollection of a case she worked on 20 years ago, and is wondering why it is important to her now.
    As Jane slowly recovers, she works out all is not as it seems.

    It is a great read.
    The book stands alone well. Roger Simpson is the successful screen writer of the Dr Jane Halifax TV series and sequel. I have watched them all and thoroughly enjoyed both the suspense, the drama and Rebecca Gibney’s portrayal of Jane.
    I am sure this book is also going to make its way to a series too.
    Thoroughly recommend this book.

  6. Thank you Beauty & Lace and Simon & Schuster Aust for the opportunity to read and review Roger Simpson’s book Resurrection. I have never watched any of the TV shows with Rebeca Gibney as Jane Halifax so I was not really sure if I would be able to pick up or relate to this story, but I must say I was pleasantly surprised that it was not a follow on story for a previous story but a stand alone story with the odd reference here and there to a previous storyline, which just gave context to the current book.

    The focus was on Jane and a terrible accident she was involved in suffering brain trauma. The storyline held multiple little stories that all built on each other to give some context to Jane and her life prior to the accident and memory loss. So who was the culprit who caused this accident? was it this Bathgate guy who part of an investigation that Jane is due to testify or was it her friend Peter? Had he drugged her and was the accident more than it actually looked like? The mystery is why or what did Jane want with multiple boxes of transcripts and files from a cold case of over 20 years prior and why does she have an Adonis of a boyfriend that no one seems to know anything about and she has no memory of actually being with?

    Each of these stories leads the reader into a small section of Jane’s life, these parts are used to help her shape her memories of the past and rebuild her life. All are quite different but this does not disjoint the storyline at all but rather draw the reader along. As the story progresses each of the sections of her life are starting to slowly piece together and build the basis of Jane recovering her memory and life. There are quite a few dramatic twists in the storyline which keep you turning the pages with the ending bringing all the storylines together and you are not left hanging wondering about any parts of the story or the characters.

    I really enjoyed this story and will look forward to reading other chapters in this series, I like the way Roger Simpson regales a story and look forward to reading more of his books. Thank you again

  7. Thank you Beauty and Lace for the opportunity to read Resurrection by Roger Simpson.

    I really enjoyed this book.
    It was definitely different from what I expected.

    Jane Halifax is in an accident and loses her memory of the last 20 years.

    Her old ghosts are coming back to haunt her and someone wants to silence her, but she has no memory of them or the case.

    How will our strong, dependable forensic psychiatrist handle this situation she has no memories of?

    Highly recommend ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  8. Resurrection is a book that is hard to put down!
    The brain works in mysterious ways. A brain injury that causes you to forget everything in your life – your friends, family, loving partner and even your face in the mirror is unfamiliar. Yet you remember a former case worked many years ago!
    Jane was in a car accident that nearly took her life. A long slow recovery that is just not a physical healing but trying to put her life back together one memory at a time. As she starts to regain the lost days around the car accident, she realises that she cannot trust what she thinks she remembers.
    A riveting read with some surprising twists that all come together in a dramatic conclusion.
    Highly recommend Resurrection to lovers of thrillers.
    Thank you Beauty and Lace and Simon & Schuster for the opportunity to read and review this wonderful book.

  9. Boy did I enjoy this one! I did struggle at first with understanding Jane’s thoughts when she first lost her memory but once I got into it, I couldn’t put the book down.

    Thankyou Roger, I will be following up with your previous one as soon as possible and any others coming!

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