Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Reservoir 13 by Jon McGregor

Reviewer: Barbara Scott Emmett, author of Delirium: The Rimbaud Delusion, The Land Beyond Goodbye and Don’t Look Down (

What We Thought: Every now and then a book comes along that is written in a style unlike any other. This is one of those books. Reservoir 13 is intimate, conversational, gossipy, nosy, and reads at times like a soap opera, at times like a country music song with a story to tell. Neither of those last two descriptions accurately convey its brilliance though. While seemingly detached, the style gets right under the skin. Sometimes it seems too much and one wishes for a break into direct speech or action, but it goes relentlessly on, poking its nose into other people’s business.

A young teenager goes missing in the hills around Reservoir 13. The girl was last seen out walking with her parents but became separated from them. Naturally, the parents are suspected but there are others in the village with secrets to keep and information to hide. The girl’s friends have not revealed all they could have done about the relationships between them. There are those in the village who have dark interests in young persons. There are philanderers and secret lovers and those who never manage to connect. There are marriages, divorces and violence. There are births and deaths and illnesses – indeed, all life is here. And underlying it all is the girl who disappeared.

Time goes by and the girl is still missing. This is the story of how such an event impacts on a community, how they deal with it, respond to it and incorporate it into their reality.

Truly unique and a fascinating read.

You’ll enjoy this if you like: Explorations of the effects of crime on a community.

Avoid if you dislike: Experimental Crime Novels

Ideal accompaniments:
A pair of binoculars and a net curtain to hide behind.

Genre: Crime Fiction

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