Heeeelllloo readers, hope you’re well! Not quite sure what happened with my scheduling today – all the quote and image posts have kinda clumped together which is a bit annoying! I haven’t been reading as much this month so if there is a little bit of a drop off with reviews I apologise, I just need a bit of time to read a hella lot of books and then get back in but we’ll see – for now a book I was supposed to read/review FOREVER AGO. So, with masssssive apologies, for the length of time it’s been with me, the review.
“I was happy to hear Flood was dead. I wasn’t as happy as I thought I’d be, but I was happy all the same.”
A complex game of cat and mouse in the seedy streets of Nottingham ends in death. Young artist Mia Jackson is compelled to watch the posthumous video diaries of Jack Flood – controversial bad boy of the London art world and convicted serial killer. Can Mia allow Drake Gallery to show Aftermath, in their retrospective of his work? Muse or victim, why was she allowed to survive?
So, did I enjoy this? Erm, yes. Yes I did. You know that feeling when you read a lot of thriller type books you can get a little bogged down and they feel a little tired; well not this one – books like this are the reason why thriller’s are forever in my top genre’s for reading. The book follows the compelling story following the disappearances of a number of girls in and around Mia’s life. Our main character, an art student in her final year of university and living in Nottingham, needs to focus on her ‘finale’ but something scary is going on. When her close friend Jenny also goes missing and with a certain Jack Flood in the picture, who keeps appearing in and out of her life Mia must ask- is he the reason for the missing girls? How is this all linked to her? Where have the girls gone? You’ll have to read to find out.
So onto the nitty-gritty – the writing is stunning. It has such a wide lens for observations inside the story line so you constantly feel drawn into the narrative, you’re almost in the mind of Mia. A description that I’ve seen mentioned a number of times, describes this perfectly;
“Boys with shaved heads and sharp suits stood in a Reservoir Dogs group while a Jesus lookalike in an artfully torn T-shirt popped something in his mouth.”
It just flows beautifully. In terms of the dialogue it feels real – there’s no rambled passages, everything is realistic; clipped dialogue of real people. Additionally much of the story is told through the lens of a camera that is used to record a documentary film. At first it feels a little stilted and difficult to read but as I progressed through the book it felt more and more natural. It’s a brilliant way to cover a lot of ground quickly, but in a way that makes the story still feel grounded and yet somehow more exciting. I don’t want to spoil anything because you HAVE to read this – but Jack holds his character throughout, and making him a main character of the book definitely helped keep my attention. I hated him, don’t get me wrong, but I LOVED reading about him.
I loved the mystery that was woven throughout the story and as I came to the end I felt almost as though the book came to natural end rather than a massive explosive ending and for once that worked in a thriller book. Mia, is also beautifully written and many of the secondary characters are woven in and create a real world of the book. I don’t want to spoil you getting to meet Mia if that makes sense, but she makes a number of beautiful and brilliant observations;
“It’s a supermarket world and we are merely stock items pre-stamped: Best Before, Display Until, Sell By, Use By – only we don’t know the exact date.”
There’s so much more to this book than meets the eye.
So did I enjoy? Yes, yes and yes again. A book that is full of dark and light and all the shades of the palette. It’s an earthy book full of mystery beautiful characters and a real gem. One to add to your tbr now. Yes, NOW.