By Holly Seddon
Rating: 4/5 Stairs
7 September 2010. Ex-journalist Alex Dale has hit rock bottom. She’s a functioning alcoholic, writing free lance by day (morning, actually) and starting in with the bottle at 12:00 pm sharp.
Alex and Amy’s worlds collide when Alex visits the Neuro-Disability ward at the Tunbridge Wells Royal Infirmary, to write a piece about patients in a “vegetative” state.
They are individuals. Some of them are completely lacking awareness, but others are actually minimally conscious and that’s a world apart from being brain dead.
As Alex walks through the ward, she recognizes Amy. They had been the same age 15 years ago, when Amy’s disappearance made headlines. Amy has been long forgotten by the public, and Alex’s interest in the case begins to spark. Soon Amy’s ex-boyfriend Jacob is pulled into the story as well.
Told in a similar fashion as The Girl on the Train, the narrative point of view switches for each chapter, sometimes in the present and sometimes in the past. The present day narrative is told from Alex and Jacob’s point of views, and the majority of the past is small bits from victim Amy.
The story was engaging, a quick page turner. Ms. Seddon was excellent in bringing her characters to life, especially Amy. The mystery itself wasn’t difficult to figure out, but for me that really didn’t matter. Alex was the true heart of the story.
As we learn more about Alex and the mess she’s made of her life, we realize that Alex is just as lost as Amy. Alex has lost everything, and her drinking is all she has left. In finding Amy, she’s once again found a purpose. Alex’s attempt to find justice for Amy becomes a personal conquest to prove to herself that maybe her life isn’t as hopeless as she fears.
Excellent read. I look forward to more books from Ms. Seddon.
Many thanks to First to Read for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.