Jarred Labrooy Labrooy từ Ampfield, Romsey, Hampshire SO51 9BX, Vương Quốc Anh
Although I could appreciate the writing of this series of stories (not a book of short stories, but seemingly unrelated events) about loss, I must admit that after the third one I almost didn't finish the book. It starts out with the abduction of a 3-year-old girl, then a knife-wielding maniac kills a young woman on her first day of work, then a wife kills her husband with an axe. So it's a little intense, even though I read crime novels and murder mysteries a lot. The characters are very realistic, and the dialogue well-written. I found the secrets to not be very mysterious, however, so there wasn't much that was climactic about the plot. On another note, I found this to be a very depressing read, and not because of the death or violence. This book is populated by lonely, wounded, desperate people, all mourning something or the other. As a social commentary, it seems pretty hopeless, and I didn't really feel that the hopelessness was resolved or lessened by the end of the book. Probably because I believe in God, and that He is good even when our circumstances aren't, I found it intriguing that the characters were mostly non-believers or outright atheists, yet led miserable, lonely lives with no really redeeming relationships. Even the investigator, although moral, is mourning the end of his marriage and the separation from his daughter. This is totally understandable, relateable and normal, but not one of these people really finds a long-term solution to their misery. Even those that do (the father of the murdered girl and the daughter of the axe-murdering wife) have a somewhat tenuous relationship. I know often "love doesn't last forever," etc., but it seems that these characters didn't really LEARN anything about themselves or relationships, so they are doomed to repeat the mistakes of the past.