I am delighted to share my review today for Crushed by Kate Hamer. I won this book in a giveaway run by the author and it has taken me far too long to pick it up to read it. This is why it has featured on my #20booksofsummer reading challenge, it is 17/20.
‘Mesmerising, compulsive, deliciously dark – and so good on the complex and thorny bond between friends. Kate Hamer’s writing is incandescent.’ Lucy Foley, author of The Hunting Party
Phoebe stands on Pulteney Bridge, tights gashed from toe to thigh. The shock of mangled metal and blood-stained walls flashes through her mind as she tries to cover her face so she won’t be recognised. It wouldn’t do to be spotted looking like this. She’s missing a shoe. She feels sick.
Phoebe thought murder and murder happened. Thoughts are just thoughts, they said. Now she knows they were wrong.
At home, Phoebe arranges the scissors and knives so they point toward her mother’s room. She is exhausted, making sure there’s no trace of herself – not a single hair, not even her scent – left anywhere in the house. She must not let her thoughts unravel, because if they do, there’s no telling who might be caught in the crossfire, and Phoebe will have to live with the consequences.
This is the first time I have read a book by this author and I have to say I really enjoyed this one. I also think it is going to be quite a difficult one to review. It is a slow-based book that crosses genres, there is a mystery to it as well as a sense of dread giving it an almost psychological thriller style to it. It is also about families, teens and coming of age along with the feeling they are going through.
So, how to review this one… it is the story of three girls, each unique and each with their own set of problems. Growing up and going to school, it is about Pheobie but the other two, Grace and Orla share the story from their own perspectives.
Being teens the girls are at that crossroads in life between being children and adults. Trying to make sense of the world and people around them. They are still naive about certain things, but they are also trying to work out what life is and what they are going to do.
There are times when this story does show their adolescent side and also a more grown-up and devious side. It shows their fears and anxieties as well as gives a look into each other’s individual lives. Some of the scenes oozed fear as well as despair. I suppose this is quite a dark and gloomy story given what the girls go through, but I think this adds more realism. That being said though, the author definitely has a way with her words and writing style. The mystery about each girl becomes very addictive and makes this a difficult book to put down.
I have gone through various reviews from other readers with this book and it does seem to be one that divides readers. For me, though I really enjoyed it. It is dark, mysterious and at times riddled with fear. It has a good psychological aspect to it as the teens are in the limbo of becoming adults.
A very good and captivating read and I will be looking to read more by this author. It is a book I would happily recommend.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kate Hamer’s third novel CRUSHED is published in May 2019 (Faber & Faber). She is the author of THE DOLL FUNERAL (Faber & Faber 2017) which was a Bookseller book of the month and an editor’s pick for Radio 4’s Open Book. Her first novel THE GIRL IN THE RED COAT has been translated into 18 different languages. It was shortlisted for The Costa First Novel Prize, the British Book Industry Awards Debut Fiction Book of the Year, The John Creasy (New Blood) Dagger and the Wales Book of the Year. It was a Sunday Times bestseller. She grew up in the west country and rural Pembrokeshire and now lives with her husband in Cardiff.
Many thanks for reading my post,a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx