Book lover. Stephen King Fanatic. Will try anything once. General Lover of Fiction. Reviewer Everywhere. All views my own. Mostly.
Publication Date: Available Now.
It’s the summer of 1984 and there is a sense of unease on the troubled Sweetmeadows estate. The residents are in shock after the suspicious death of a baby and tension is growing due to the ongoing miners’ strike. Journalist Clare Jackson follows the story as police botch the inquiry and struggle to contain the escalating violence. Haunted by a personal trauma she can’t face up to, Clare is shadowed by nine-year-old Amy, a bright but neglected little girl who seems to know more about the incident than she’s letting on. As the days go on and the killer is not found, Clare ignores warnings not to get too close to her stories and in doing so, puts her own life in jeopardy.
The second novel I have read from this author and this was a beautifully written, evocative of the times and compelling mystery story with some great characters and an excellent flow to it - I read it basically in one sitting, and very much enjoyed it.
Clare Jackson is a fascinating character - told from her point of view, with her background and attitude informing her decision making, this was an often haunting tale set against the backdrop of the Miners Strike with all the emotion and fervor of that time popping off the page and giving the whole thing a distinctly realistic feel.
The political turmoil of the times lends itself well to the story being told - a time before mobile phones and 24/7 access to everything, it is absolutely fascinating to read a crime story from this era and Bea Davenport has captured the sense of it perfectly. The relationship between Clare and 9 year old Amy is one of the best things at the heart of it and all the characters are well drawn and authentic.
I did work out the ultimate resolution but really for me, this was less about solving a crime and more about reliving a period in History that I remember quite well, being around 16 at the time and just starting to take an interest in the wider world around me when it came to the big events of that era.
Really very very good indeed. Highly Recommended.
Happy Reading Folks!