Book lover. Stephen King Fanatic. Will try anything once. General Lover of Fiction. Reviewer Everywhere. All views my own. Mostly.
A standalone novel from Sophie Hannah and as I just said on Twitter, unravelling her mysteries is akin to searching for a particular needle in a pile of identical needles. It just ain't happening.
So we meet Justine then, moving to the country with her family, having left a high powered job behind, she is determined to do nothing. The only thing she wants to do is tell anyone that will listen that she does nothing. But a strange event on the way to their new home, coupled with some disturbing phone calls and adding in some rather odd behaviour from her daughter and Justine finds herself having to do quite a lot after all.
There are two strands to the tale - Justine's side and a fictional story written by her daughter that is so gripping you may find yourself wanting to read that more than the other. But Sophie Hannah does nothing without good reason, so you sense that this "essay" is going to be important - but how, why and what the blinking nora is going on at that school you'll have no idea. I know. You'll just have to read it.
Superbly crafted to keep you metaphorically chasing your own tail, whilst I was not reading this book I found myself constantly going back to it in my head, trying to come up with some reason why everything that was happening was happening. It drove me quietly insane.
Ms Hannah writes with sharp witty dialogue and a dark ironic humour that is completely dastardly - you can't escape all you can do is keep going hoping that the fog will clear and daylight will be ahead.
It is SO addictive, the characters spark with electrical energy, the plot thickens with every page but never goes too far, and of course the ultimate solution is typical of this author in that it makes both perfect sense yet still won't let go of you. (because you know, thats just the way it is) Definitively satisfying, I'd like to bet you'll keep returning to this story and the characters in the pages long after leaving them behind. I know I will.
Simply brilliant. If I was wearing a hat right now I'd take it off to Sophie Hannah who writes the twistiest tales known to man yet manages to make it, in the end, seem oh so beautifully simple.
Happy Reading Folks!