3* (out of 5*)
This was an unexpected read. I had picked up the book without reading the blurb.
As it turns out, it tells the story of a private investigator who is hired to find out about the disappearance of a woman within the traveller community.
One of the aspects that made the book quite entertaining is that the POV changes between different characters – the PI and a 14 year-old boy. Penney got the tone of voice just right for both of the narrators and this made it quite interesting to see the two different takes on the same plot. In a way it reminded me a lot of The Casual Vacancy (which I liked a lot) – just with less social criticism. The dialogues really managed to portray the characters, more than any long-winded description ever could.
What didn’t work so well was that some of the story was dragged out longer than it needed to be. Maybe some of the background could have been left out. However, it does not distract too much from the story.
My one and only real gripe with the story is this one (without adding too much of a spoiler): Why Wales? I was a little knocked side-ways with this.
Anyway, now I can hardly wait to read Stef Penney’s first book The Tenderness of Wolves.