So I’ve been lucky enough to be asked by the lovely publishing company, Legend Press, to be part of their Legend 100 Club. This is a book club for other people who get way way too excited whilst wondering around in book shops breathing in that sweet book smell and spending all their monthly wages on the latest novels. No? Just me? Ok then. Coolz!
Anyway the way it works is Legend Press send me a beautiful, new, unpublished book every month for me to devour whilst on the train, in bed, chilling on the sofa…you get the general gist. After which I just have to review what I thought about the book and send them the link 🙂
So at the beginning of this week, much to my excitement I opened my postbox to find a copy of Clar Ni Chonghaile’s debut book, ‘Fractured’, which focuses on a kidnapping of a journalist in Somalia. Now my normal go-to with books is a classic, juicy murder. Yes I have far too much Miss Marple on my bookshelves. But I have to say I was hooked! I started it on the train from Warwick to Birmingham and pretty much almost missed my stop. Three days later and I was done!
So yes I definitely would recommend a cheeky trip to Waterstones or opening up your laptop and downloading this book onto your kindle. It’s gripping, tense and thought-provoking! What’s not to like?
Anyhoo review is below….
”What I loved about this stunningly tense novel is the way in which Chonghaile puts a face and a story to the horrors of war and despair that we hear about every day yet are so far removed from. Through her incredibly convincing characters, all of whom embody the flaws, hopes and regrets we have on a regular basis, Chonghaile paints a picture of the complexity of humanity in a country torn apart by war, ideology and foreign intervention. From the opening line Chonghaile draws you into the story of Peter Maguire, a journalist captured and imprisoned whilst on assignment in Somalia. From then onwards we are caught up in a spiralling tale of survival and redemption through the eyes of Peter, his mother, Nina, and Abdi (the Somalian teenager who delivers food to Peter in his cell).
At times I felt that the novel did lose some of its gritty realism and veered a bit towards the cliché when it switched to Nina’s story, however it worked well as a plot device and was a nice interlude to the tension that otherwise dominates the novel.
The most remarkable component of Chonghaile’s writing, however, is the way in which she creates a fantastic anti-hero with Peter. She does not portray him as the classic victim but as a severely flawed, often selfish individual with a self-confessed inability to love as other people do. It is through his story that Chonghaile brings to life the intricacies of human nature and challenges our assumptions of what good and evil truly mean.”