A Scouse Thriller sounded like an intriguing prospect, so I picked this up at the Writing on the Wall event at the end of May. A very disturbing trailer video launched the world of Charley, searching for her missing sister Gina and the unfolding drama, very tense and emotional, well presented, so how could I not grab it hot off the press? (So to speak!)
It is presented in several, overlapping ways- The Definitions of Gina as she becomes embroiled in the world of the Ryan family, a bunch of scallies if ever there was! Then there are Charley’s chapters as she is trying to piece together what happened to Gina, uncovering secrets The Family would rather stay buried. She finds the Definitions Gina has scribbled and follows them like breadcrumbs, meeting hostility along the way.
It is a tough cookie to pin down, while the characters are realistic, none of them are really sympathetic; Charley is the only likeable one, with Officer Field a close second. It is Charley’s determination to find Gina, to sort through the clues and lies and obstacles in her way that drives the emotional core of the story, even though it means dealing with Karen and Daniel’s relatives.
The twist at the end is a bit shocking, and I found the chapters dealing with the two girls grief over their Mother’s passing a bit hard to deal with, but it is so well-written that it flows really well. The ending is the same way too.
So, what a rollercoaster, a compelling, very taut thriller set in Liverpool, with a wonderful, evocative cover
Definitions by Clare Coombes is out now.