EXCERPT: There are no letterboxes to shout through here, of course. No garden wall to stand on and no doorbell to ring. All the tiny details, all the quiet, unnoticed edges of the world have been taken away, and it’s only when they’re gone you realise how much you depended on them to make sense of everything else.
There are newspapers lying around, but every time I pick one up it has holes in the pages where articles have been removed. Things that might distress people or make them feel uncomfortable. Although one person’s distress is another person’s couldn’t-care-less, so I don’t know how they decide which bits to take out.
‘It would be nice,’ I said to a woman sitting next to me in the day room, ‘if life was like that. If you could just cut around the pieces you didn’t care for.’
She didn’t reply. Sometimes they don’t. Sometimes, it’s as though you haven’t spoken at all, as if your world or their world are running quite happily side by side, but there isn’t any way of moving between one and the other.
ABOUT ‘A TIDY ENDING’: Linda has lived in a quiet neighborhood since fleeing the dark events of her childhood in Wales. Now she sits in her kitchen, wondering if this is all there is: pushing the vacuum around and cooking fish sticks for dinner, a far cry from the glamorous lifestyle she sees in the glossy magazines coming through the mail slot addressed to the previous occupant, Rebecca.
Linda’s husband Terry isn’t perfect—he picks his teeth, tracks dirt through the house, and spends most of his time in front of the TV. But that seems fairly standard—until he starts keeping odd hours at work, at around the same time young women in the town start to go missing.
If only Linda could track down and befriend Rebecca, maybe some of that enviable lifestyle would rub off on her and she wouldn’t have to worry about what Terry is up to. But the grass isn’t always greener and you can’t change who you really are. And some secrets can’t stay buried forever…
MY THOUGHTS: Very clever, Joanna Cannon. I had absolutely no idea where you were taking me, not the slightest suspicion. My jaw hit the floor at the end and I laughed, probably a tad hysterically. It was just so beautifully unexpected.
Linda is an interesting character. Initially she may not appear so but there is more going on under that tatty blue quilted house coat than it appears. Her husband, Terry, is an irritant. He is messy, uncaring and leaves her notes telling her what to do. She has no friends, and her mother is all show but no real use. She was always much closer to her father, and she misses that. She has an ingrained distrust of the police after they did what they did to him.
I have read and loved everything Joanna Cannon has written, and she has surprised me again with this entertaining, character driven mystery that has dark undertones.
I can’t wait to read whatever Cannon writes next.
I: @drjocannon @harpercollinsuk @harperfiction @boroughpress
T: @JoannaCannon @HarperCollinsUK @BoroughPress
#contemporaryfiction #domesticdrama #murdermystery
THE AUTHOR: Joanna Cannon was born in a small Derbyshire town, at the very edge of the Peak District National Park. As a child she discovered what would become a life-long fascination with words, stories and character.
Her love of narrative had always drawn her towards psychiatry, but it wasn’t until her thirties that she decided to go back to college and finally complete the A-levels she’d abandoned some 15 years earlier.
Before specialising in psychiatry, Joanna rotated through a series of hospital jobs, from A&E to palliative care. It was around this time she began writing a blog in order to make sense of her experiences. She soon found herself writing the book that would become her bestselling debut, The Trouble with Goats and Sheep.
DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Harper Collins UK, Harper Fiction, The Borough Press via Netgalley for providing a digital ARC of A Tidy Ending by Joanna Cannon for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.
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