It's summer so I thought why not pick a good murder mystery with summer in the title - that and the blurb of this book, "This summer everything will change. By the end of summer, three will be dead" intrigued me and seemed to be right along my theme of summer reading: "Seriously Disturbed Crime Novels".
time, we're following 13 year-old Anita, a Pakistani girl whose mother
has recently died & the family has shifted to London and is falling
apart. Her father is disintegrating into alcoholism and her siblings are
growing up and ignoring her, only ever referring to her as the "nit".
Left to her own devices, she befriends the local outcasts: Dennis, her
classmate who has severe mental difficulties & Kyle, a psychotic boy
on the verge of adolescence whose sister vanished a year before. In the
blistering heat and with a trickling feeling of impending doom building
at every corner, they become "sort-of" friends, dependent on Kyle's
mood. However, by the end of the summer three children will die at one
of their hands, leaving Anita the sole survivor of the infamous "London
Cave Murders" of 1986.
story of the summer of 1986 is told through Anita narrating their
summer to her counsellor, seven years later. She is deeply traumatised
by what she witnessed and what the killer put her through in the cave
and only feeds you little pieces of information, interspersing it with
her summer of adolescence prior to the murders & her burgeoning love
for the deeply troubled Kyle. There are twists and turns throughout and
the ending is one of the most shocking this year, but looking back, it
all makes sense, in a very dark and disturbing way.
a cracker of a debut novel, slithering and seething through you, giving
you the chills even though the heat is constantly highlighted. Anita is
a deep character, so beautifully described and so hopelessly lost and
Way's graphic writing really draws you into the time & era. With
sickening twists and a very bleak feel to the entire novel, this isn't
for anyone - it is for someone wanting to be challenged as they read,
yet still enjoy reading a truly good mystery that's from an author who
promises she has a lot more to give. I absolutely loved it, it thrilled,
chilled and inspired me to seek out more.
Next time, I promise something a little more fun.