I mentioned I Let You Go in my last post because I had just hit the first major plot twist. While that one was definitely the kicker, the rest of the story was all the more gripping for it and is so full of these small surprises that you get to a point where you almost stop being shocked by the misery the main character has gone through.
When you read the blurb for this, the plot seems relatively simple. I’ve tried to summarise it in one sentence but just can’t without giving something away. You’ll just have to find it and read it for yourself. I did wonder why my sister was raving about how much she loved it when all I was expecting was perhaps a woman who’s gone to live in Wales after the accident and then she’s haunted by the memory of what happened or… something similar. I don’t know, but what I was expecting was not what I got.
I read and very briefly reviewed Clare Mackintosh’s follow up to this, I See You, and while I enjoyed that, this debut effort is a lot better. It deals with a lot of rather horrific topics and does so in a very bold and believable way.
Reviewing this seemed like such a good idea but now I’m really struggling to not give away any spoilers!
Ok, characters. We have three central characters, two of whom take the narrative and one who’s followed in third person. Jenna is our main ‘narrator’ and I think the fact of it is I just like her much more than I did Zoe and Kelly from I See You. Jenna is humble and obviously utterly distraught by all she’s been through but she’s also not entirely pathetic, as would be easy for a character such as this, no, instead she actually begins to build a life for herself again, and with very little fuss and ‘Oh wow look at how brave I am!’.
The police team we also follow is headed up by Ray… something. Can’t remember his surname and I don’t have the book with me and the internet is no help. He, along with his young attractive and ultimately strong officer, Kate, are faced with a hit and run of a 5 year old boy that goes nowhere. No witnesses, no evidence, nothing, but they do not give up, unwilling to let go even when everything tells them they should. They are both interesting characters. Ray probably more so but only because it’s him we follow and so his home life and struggles we see.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that this is a well-fleshed out novel with a complex range of characters and a plot with enough twists to keep anyone interested. It is uncomfortable to read at times, just because it is so… honest? Is that the word? Realistic I guess is more accurate. You can imagine these things happening and even if you are fortunate, as I am, to not have any firsthand experience of the things the characters go through, it all becomes a lot easier to imagine.
Book: Northern Lights, Philip Pullman (he’s writing new ones people!)
Audio: Not much as I’ve moved and have no internet so can’t download anything. Harry Potter again.