I was recently sent this book for the purposes of reviewing, but as always, this is still my own honest opinion! It’d be difficult to lie about this book anyway, because if you say it’s one of the best books in the world, it wouldn’t be a lie.
We’re introduced to main character Toby, a sweet but down on his luck boy living out in the countryside of late 50’s England. With it being a murder mystery, I don’t want to let too much of the plot slip and spoil it for anyone.
Toby is a character that’s easy to connect to, and before you know it you’re entirely attached to him, and praying that only the best happens for him. His Aunt May is a lovely woman, who looks after him when no one else would, and it’s interesting to have such a lovely character be described as ‘bird like’ and other terms usually reserved for villains.
As you get further through the book, and Toby gets older, it really feels like you’re watching him grow up. You feel each one of his victories, successes, and achievements as though he’s a close friend, only making other parts of the book all the more heartbreaking.
Half the book made my heart pound and my palms feel sweaty, it’s genuinely anxiety inducing, written in a way that simultaneously doesn’t get to the ‘good stuff’ fast enough, and throwing it right in your face. There was a specific part, you’ll know which if you read it, that made me gasp out loud, and several others that had me close to tears.
This book is so well written, with an old time feel to stick with the setting, while being modern enough to not drone or seem dated. Each twist and turn is set up perfectly, understandable but not expected, and all of it really does feel like it’s poor Toby’s life.
Morals are questioned, how much you can excuse horrific actions, and how much the reasons behind them matter, are both explored, and most importantly to me, it all felt entirely realistic.
The ending wasn’t what I wanted at all, but I have to admit it was the perfect closure for the story told. I exclusively have good things to say about this book, and I’m definitely going to be looking into Dave Flints other work.
If you want a heart warming, heart wrenching story of love, loss, and murder, this is a book for you. Five out of five stars, ten out of ten, whatever rating you want to use, this novel is the top of the top.