Yep, it’s back…another Monday and the week ahead and sometimes it seems like,“God gave us Mondays to punish us for the things we did over the weekend.” Hopefully, everyone will have a super week and a wonderful Halloween as well.
Today, I bring you my review of the book,
Sometimes no matter how much you think you know others, as well as yourself, surprises happen and you find out what you thought to be true was false and what you thought was false was true. “The thing is, I suppose,” he said, “that one gets into the habit of being oneself. It takes some great upheaval to crack that shell and force us to discover what else might be underneath”
Toby, has gone through a horrific trauma resulting in brain damage and dysfunction. He’s left for dead after a break in at his apartment, and struggles to find his way back to a reality he thought he knew. He is supported by a loving girlfriend, Melissa, a family who surrounds him, as well as friends and a boss who rally to support him. So what is wrong with this picture?
While recovering, Toby gets word that his beloved Uncle Hugo is dying and so he and Melissa decide to live with Hugo at the family home. Family and friends shuttle back and forth in this home, and then one day a skull is discovered by Toby’s niece and nephew and the game is on to find out what eventually turns out to be murder of a supposed friend Dominic, ten years prior.
The story shifts back and forth as Ms French takes us on a journey through the web of deception and guile. Toby’s cousins, a close knit group as teenagers and young children, come together to support their Uncle Hugo, but along the way truths, untruths, and trickery are ferreted out as we look to find who killed Dominic. There are a plethora of reversals, of finding one going in one direction and then swerving to another. The writing is amazing, showing us the way things spiral and make about faces, as we spin and shift our point of view, never knowing exactly where we are, who we believe, and how the sands shift below the characters.
What made this book a bit difficult for me was that the first forty or so percent of the book, tended to be long winded. It took what seemed to be an inordinate amount of time to set up the direction we were going in and I was at times tempted to cast this book aside. However, I am glad I did persevere as Ms French offered me a unique look into the psyche, machinations, and the workings of a mind intent upon remembering but trying to forget. The psychology of the mind has always been fascinating and this author takes it on with gusto.
I recommended this book to those who don’t mind a slow start into a character study of abundant proportions.
Tana French is the author of In the Woods, The Likeness, Faithful Place, Broken Harbor, The Secret Place, and The Trespasser. Her books have won awards including the Edgar, Anthony, Macavity, and Barry awards, the Los Angeles Times Award for Best Mystery/Thriller, and the Irish Book Award for Crime Fiction. She lives in Dublin with her family.