Welcome to my latest book review! Today I am writing about The Legacy of Old Gran Parks by Isobel Blackthorn, a thriller novel based in Cann River, Australia. This review is part of the book blog tour organised by Faye over on daydreamersthoughts.co.uk.
Genre: Dark Comedy (although there are some crime elements)
Page length: 273 pages
Published: 24th February 2018 (Hellbound Books Publishing LLC)
Available formats: Paperback and Kindle
Amazon Link (Affiliate link)
Set in Cann River in Australia’s rugged southern wilderness, The Legacy of Old Gran Parks is a tale of a remote town haunted by a legacy, a legacy with ominous consequences. It’s a warm evening in the autumn of 1983 when Miriam Forster rolls into town in her broken down car. Frankie the deer hunter, is up in the forested hinterland with her gun. Old Pearl the fisherwoman sits on her front deck down by the lagoon with her whisky and her dog. And Emily, the English backpacker, scrubs out the pie-encrusted kitchen at the roadhouse. All is not well. There’s a hoon doing donuts at the crossroads and screaming down the fire trails in the woods; a suspicious-looking city-slicker with two small children, squatting in Fred’s shack down by the lake; a beanie-headed gaunt guy convalescing at the lighthouse; and an acne festooned creature in the hotel room next to Miriam, thrashing about in the night. Gran Parks is stirring. Who will survive? Who will get away? Who will stay? (Copied from Amazon)
First off I should point out that this book doesn’t fit with my usual reading choices yet I found myself intrigued after reading the blurb. I signed up to read this short book and I am glad I did, it showed me an insiders view of rural Australia which I easily pictured even though I’ve never been.
The four main characters; Miriam, Frankie, Pearl and Emily, are each given a fair amount of page time. Plenty of time to get to understand them and their lives, at least enough to be sucked into the book! Each character has her own set of morals, likes and dislikes. They don’t always get on with each other and later in the book there is a fair bit of conversation between them. It is their first conversation together in the roadhouse that I quite liked, it added another dimension to their characters to see them react to each other, as for the most part we don’t see them interact with many people.
Each character has her own reaction to dealing with a stressful situation, some took to it with calm determination whilst one essentially went into panic mode and had to be rescued. I found myself liking all characters but one, Miriam annoyed me, quite a bit. But that is what I look for in a good book, a range of characters to ignite different emotions from me as I read their story.
This book had a fair few twists and turns towards the end, I couldn’t have predicted a couple of them, again something else I like in a good book, to keep me on the edge of my seat as I finish.
There is only one thing that I didn’t quite like about this book, the shear amount of detailed violence in some chapters (mainly those from Frankie’s perspective), I understand that the acts themselves were a necessary part of the plot but the amount of detail was unnecessary in my opinion. I know some people like this about crime novels, but it just isn’t for me. That being said I did enjoy the rest of the book.
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