Monday, 20 October 2014

A Penny for the Hangman by Tom Savage

Random House Publishing Group - Alibi - (Oct. 7 2014)
259 pages - 2.99 $ (epub)

The catchy title and the publisher: Alibi made ​​me ask this title on NetGalley. Although I must say that the blurb in which the female journalist is in a bikini made ​​me fear that it was a kind of book à la San Antonio (not my cup of tea), it is not absolutely not that kind of book.

The blurb

In Tom Savage’s chilling novel of suspense, an ambitious reporter is beckoned to an island paradise for the story of a lifetime. But this scoop might just be the death of her.

Fifty years ago, on the Caribbean island of St. Thomas, two teenagers born to privilege were convicted of slaughtering their parents in cold blood. Today the men are free and a Hollywood movie has been made about the murders. For Karen Tyler, an eager New York journalist, the case is irresistible. She has been invited to the Virgin Islands for an interview that’s too good to pass up . . . and sounds too good to be true.

Karen packs her bikini and her digital recorder and follows an ingeniously designed trail that leads her to a wealthy, mysterious figure. The man claims to be one of the notorious boys, but Karen soon learns that all is not as it seems. On this isolated utopia of sun and surf, a young reporter far from home fights for the truth—and for her life. Because the shocking secret behind the infamous atrocities has remained hidden all these years. And the killing isn’t over yet.

What's good in that book?

This book was a blast! The pace does not fail, there is always something intriguing or disturbing. The stressful informations are revealed along the story. The narrative is interspersed with extracts from the diary of one of the teen killers, excerpts from police reports, minutes of the trial, testimony... and a disturbing correspondence from Karen. From the start, we know that another tragedy occurred on the island and she is in danger. From the start, we follow her story by being afraid of the end. Stress increases bit by bit because of the dialogues and the trap that closes on her

The characters are well written with shady guys, rogues (and I'm not talking about the bad guy...), naive or clever ones, there's something for everyone. There are still some cliché (both affluent teens are necessarily exceptionally beautiful and intelligent) but this does not hinder the story, it is not what stands out most about this book. What stands out most is the countdown to an end that we know/sense/guess horrible

Extracts or inserting text into a story - whether to give information or returns in the past - are not always easy to write in a book because they cut too abruptly the story or that they're hard to understand what they bring up to the final moment. But Tom Savage pass the exercice in style with brio. The extracts are timely writen to provide an explanation when the story needs it or sow a little anxiety and stress because the revelation brought only confirms us in our fears. 

In a nutshell

A good and stressful book that reads in one go, Tom Savage plays with our nerves and we ask for more! It is a 4/5 for me.

Disclaimer: An e-galley of this title was provided to me by the publisher. No review was promised and the above is an unbiased review of the novel.

No comments:

Post a Comment