2010 Crime Recommended books

Rupture – Simon Lelic

Note: This book is released as A Thousand Cuts in the US

Rupture is set in a London comprehensive school, where a teacher walks into an assembly and shoots three pupils and a colleague, before turning the gun on himself. The book follows the young policewoman who is in charge of investigating the case. She quickly realises that the incident is not as simple as it first appears and sets out to find what motivated a quiet teacher to become a murderer.

The book begins with some truanting boys hearing a disturbance at their school; they sneak past the teachers and police they try to discover what has happened. The boys don’t actually see anything, but in many ways I found their observations more disturbing, as my imagination was left to conjure up the horror for myself.

I see what I had for lunch the day before, a pile of pork all glistening with fat like it’s been run over by a herd of slugs, just left on a tray in the sink. And there’s stuff all over the floor, lettuce gone soggy and brown, and peas with their guts splattered and smeared all over the tiles. I almost throw up.

I’d like to say that Rupture is a cross between Notes on a Scandal and We Need To Talk About Kevin but I think that would be unfair, as Rupture has it’s own unique voice. Much of the book is written as half a conversation, leaving you to fill in the police officer’s questions yourself. Some people may struggle with this writing style, but I found it to be very effective.

This book is gripping throughout and I was very impressed that by the end I had a great deal of sympathy for the murderer. I loved the way my initial opinions were slowly changed, leading me to question the way I look at crime and how often the perpetrator is often a victim too.

This book has everything I love to see in a book: fantastic characters, an impressive writing style, a compelling plot and a list of things to think about for weeks to come.

Highly recommended.


Have I persuaded you to buy a copy?!

There seem to be a lot of books about school shootings. Which is your favourite?