Book lover. Stephen King Fanatic. Will try anything once. General Lover of Fiction. Reviewer Everywhere. All views my own. Mostly.
Publication Date: Available Now.
Source: Author Review Copy
This is the story of Kiri, a beautiful older-than-her-years English-Japanese teenager who moves with her family from Putney to the Scottish Borders when her father accepts a job as Forestry Manager. She is abruptly pulled out of her West London comfort zone to a world of no Broadband, no mobile phone signal and no friends. Her beauty catches the attention of Chris, the landowner’s son as well as the unwelcome interest of his father and her dad’s boss, the Laird, Lord Roderick Duncan.
So in “Riccarton Junction” we meet Kikarin, a teenager recently moved to Scotland, looking to start a new part of her life and indulge herself in her interest in History – but she faces some real issues because of her background and has to deal with a lot of nasty stuff including racism. When her brother is released from Prison she faces a whole new set of problems, here is where the “Thriller” element of the tale kicks in…and I found this to be a highly enjoyable and quite clever read.
Kikarin is intriguing as a character – her interest in dying communities is an odd one but it seems to suit her perfectly and allows one of the many strands of this story to come to life, leading her into a relationship with Chris and into the path of his father. There is an eclectic mix of characters here and the many life themes woven into the narrative are handled well. When her criminal brother arrives at their new home bringing with him a wealth of danger, it is a dark and often disturbing read.
I don’t want to give too much away but not all the people you will meet are exactly as they appear, there are some surprising and very clever little twists and turns to keep you on your toes and make you keep turning the pages and overall I thought this was a pretty terrific read.
There were a few subjective issues for me – perhaps some of the many sub plots could have been less or even lost altogether in order to keep the story tight, Kikarin can become annoying at times – yes I get that she is beautiful, which is oft repeated, and I could have done without knowing what she was wearing all the time. Her own attitude to her beauty and the fact that all the men “want” her can grate occasionally as well – but these slight annoyances aside she was a well rounded character and a good main protagonist.
I’m not sure what I’d call this one if pushed – it is certainly a coming of age tale for Kiri, there are some disturbing themes that will give you pause for thought. Definitely a slow burner, the tension slowly building and it is well written and flows nicely. It is one of those books that while it is by no means perfect, it is a very good read and I will be interested to see how this author develops over time.
I believe there is more to come and I would call this a solid 3.5* read with potential.
Happy Reading Folks!