Review: ‘Porcelain Flesh of Innocents’, by Lee Cockburn

This is the first review I’m posting as part of the Clink Street Spring Reading Week Blog Tour. I was sent a copy of this book, in exchange for an honest review, by Rachel at Authoright as part of the Blog Tour.

Lee Cockburn Cover 4.2

Published By: Clink Street

Publication Date: 2017

I.S.B.N.; 9781911525318

Format: Paperback (Also available as an ebook)

See other posts for the blurb



  • Good plot
  • Complex characters that drive the narrative forward
  • Nice plot twists.
  • Tackles a painful and complex issue – child abuse – with sympathy
  • The language used gives a flavour of the setting – Edinburgh – while being accessible
  • The author’s experience as a police officer shows through in the minutia of procedure and attitudes.


  • For an experienced crime novel reader, the villain was obvious from fairly early on.
  • The book needed some serious editing for spelling and grammar.
  • The was a lot of telling and not much showing, especially with the characters personalities and relationships with each other.
  • The formatting left something to be desired. Changes in perspective weren’t signalled by any line breaks, causing confusion as to which character’s viewpoint I was reading.
  • There were times when I wanted to get my pen out and start deleting whole paragraphs for repetition and unnecessary exposition.
  • There’s only so much sex and violence I can read before I get bored, and while the violence had some purpose in the plot, the sexual encounters added nothing. In both cases, allusion is more effective that blow-by-blow description.
  • The victims of the crimes are evil people, but the author uses their bodies to show they are evil, and regularly equates fat with depravity, and thin athleticism with goodness. I’d prefer my novels to not strengthen prevailing fatphobia, thanks ever so.

Overall – 2/5

This book suffers from being published too soon. While the plot and characters were good, poor editing and heavy handedness let this novel down. With a bit more work it could be a damn good crime novel.

Warning, if I haven’t put you off, the book deals with, and there is explicit descriptions of child abuse and sexual assault. Honestly, read the first three chapters and thought ‘I’m going to need vodka to get through this’; unfortunately, I can’t drink on my medication.


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