Review published on January 19, 2018.
Fifteen-year-old Hannah’s Auntie Mel discovers an apparently lifeless, naked young woman on a beach in North Yorkshire. In fact, the young woman survived her ordeal but is unable to either speak or to remember who she is: the nurses call her Storm. Facing personal problems of their own, both Hannah and Mel welcome the distraction and become focused on trying to solve the mystery of who Storm is and where she came from. Mason, a rookie constable, is involved in investigating the case and, seeing Storm as a “damsel in distress”, goes out of his way to find out what happened to her. It quickly becomes clear that nothing about the case is straightforward and that all their respective, uncoordinated attempts to solve the mystery are bound to lead to clashes between the main characters.
The synopsis of this story sounded promising, as did the promise of “mordant wit and dazzling style”. However, whatever wit there was in the writing passed me by – and I certainly didn’t feel “dazzled” at any point in my reading. I thought there was a lack of focus in the writing, that there was little surprising in any of the plot twists and turns, and that none of the characters (perhaps with the exception of Hannah) felt convincing. There were times when I found the author’s syntax so strange that I was forced to re-read sentences in order to make sense of what I was reading. Apart from being frustrating, this certainly interrupted any tension which I might otherwise have been able to feel as the story developed. I also found myself becoming irritated by what I regarded as unnecessarily crude language which, in my opinion, I did nothing to enhance the story.
Sadly, this novel, my first of 2018, was a real disappointment and, as I write this brief review, I find myself wondering why on earth I wasted time waiting for it to get better! I have never been one to make New Year resolutions (they’re too easily broken!) but reading this book has made me resolve not to spend time on books which aren’t engaging my interest – there are too many good books out there!
Linda Hepworth 1/2
Everything You Do Is Wrong by Amanda Coe
Fleet 9780349005058 hbk Oct 2017
READING GROUP GUIDE: Nucleus by Rory Clements