When Will There Be Good News? is a very appropriate title for this book, as it is what I was thinking almost all the way through it.
It is a very depressing book. Each character is expertly introduced; we’re made to fall in love with them, only to find they’ve been murdered, or involved in some other terrible accident a few pages later.
The book begins with a happy family in a corner of rural Devon. One minute they’re having a quiet picnic, the next, all but the six-year-old girl have been brutally murdered.
Thirty years later the man convicted of the crime is released from prison, and the surviving girl, now a 36-year-old mother, goes missing.
The book advances at a fairly fast pace, as more characters go on to suffer extreme heartache, pain or death. The plot was well structured, and there were a few surprises at the end, but overall I found this book too depressing to be able to recommend it to anyone.
This is the first book by Kate Atkinson that I have read, although a few of her others are in my TBR pile. I’m sure I’ll read more of her books at some point, as her writing is very accomplished, but I’ll check to see if they are as disturbing as this one before I start one.
Also reviewed by Mysteries in Paradise