I’m not a big fan of thrillers as I’m easily scared and currently only get to read in the wee hours when feeding the baby – which isn’t the best time to read a scary story… However, I like to try new things and move out of my comfort zone, and I’m glad I managed to read The Stalker. The book is well crafted and the characters build slowly and are very easy to imagine. A student journalist desperate to make it in her chosen profession meets an older man in the pub who offers his contacts and experience as a published journalist – how can she refuse? Despite his creepy appearance and unhealthy interest in her private life, she continues to be swayed by his proffered skills. You can shout at a book all you like, but the characters rarely do what you ask!
This is the first book from Edwards, and naturally there is some polishing that could be done but the story is well paced and believable. The ending is a little sudden and unnerving – be prepared! This is a short story, and the next instalment is under construction.
The 12 Lives of Samuel Hawley by Hannah Tinti
Mmm, what I love about reading is the amazing variety out there, and my favourite thing about reviewing is that I get to go out of my normal range and experiment with new genres and authors. This book is a challenge to review as it’s not something I would normally have read, and I can’t honestly use the word enjoy… but I’m also really glad I did read it, and the story has lingered with me for several days. The book is the life story of Samuel Hawley – it’s not a happy tale. The chapters alternate between his current life – largely told through his daughter Loo, and the story of his life to that point, slowly revealing the encounters and situations that have brought them to this place, at this time. The story has a brooding quality, and you sense early on that there will be no happy endings. It’s also a coming of age story for Loo, who begins to understand her own beginnings and make her own choices about how to live her adult life. The book is really beautifully written, the characters are completely identifiable and the descriptions of places and people are thoroughly engaging. Samuel is a simple man, life hasn’t dealt him a great hand, but when he falls in love he makes a series of decisions that are intended to keep his family safe… The ending is somewhat disappointing for someone who likes clear cut finishes, it leaves many things to the imagination of the reader, which I guess means you can give them a happy ending or not!
If you like this then try The Good Thief by Hannah Tinti x