Publisher: No Exit Press
Publication Date: 25th October 2018
When I was approached to be involved in the blog tour for this book I read the premise and immediately thought, yes! Sign me up! I’ve also recently read Bellevue Square which is published by No Exit Press and really enjoyed it, so I assumed I would be in for a treat.
I believe this is a loose spin off from the authors novel Gravesend, which I haven’t read. However you don’t need to have read this book first. One of the characters from Gravesend goes on to become the protagonist in The Lonely Witness. That character is Amy Falconetti.
Amy lives in the neighbourhood of Gravesend in Brooklyn. She keeps herself to herself and does a lot of work for the local parish. Namely providing communion to elderly parishioners who are to old and infirm to get to church to take communion for themselves.
We know that Amy has lead quite a hedonistic life in the lead up to becoming heavily involved in the church, once a party girl, bar hopper and somewhat of a wild child she is now much more subdued and doing her bit for the local community.
It is during one of these visits to an elderly lady, Mrs Epifanio that Amy hears that there has been a young man coming around to visit who has started to unnerve poor old Mrs E and Amy wants to know why. Vincent the son of one of Mrs Epifanio’s friend Diane has been making somewhat of a nuisance of himself and discomfiting Mrs E to the point where she believes he may have done something to harm Diane.
When Amy follows Vincent she chances upon an encounter he has with another local man. Vincent ends up dead (not a spoiler) and Amy is a witness to the whole bloody scene.
But does Amy do the right god fearing thing and report the murder and her witnessing of it? No, she decides to keep schtum. I know right!
What follows after this is Amy trying to come to terms with what she’s done whilst becoming deeper and deeper embroiled with the various characters in the neighbourhood.
This is all set against a backdrop of personal issues in Amy’s private life that she is trying to deal with. The sudden reappearance of her once absent father, the breakdown of her relationship with her girlfriend and various internal demons Amy is battling regarding her disappointment with how her life has turned out.
What I enjoyed about this book was the fact that it wasn’t just a fast paced, action packed thriller surrounding the murder and the events leading up to and following it. It was also as much to do with Amy’s character and her struggles with life too.
Amy is such a fascinating character, a strong willed young woman with lots of guts and bravery. She doesn’t always know the difference between right and wrong but she trusts her gut instinct and knows what she needs to do.
Another element of this book I enjoyed was in regards to the construction of the dialogue between characters. It was never stilted or over written. It flowed just as normal conversations would in the real world, and I felt as if I was witnessing an actual normal conversation that hadn’t been ‘constructed’ for want of a better word. Some of the names in this book are just fab! I felt like I wanted to know these people more!
The one thing I could have done without in this book were all the street names and directions. Maybe it’s because I’m based in the UK and have never visited the US. Maybe the various street directions would mean more to someone from the US? Who knows.
If you’re after a thriller with a crackin strong female character at its heart then this is a book you need to head to.
Thank you so much as always to No Exit Press and Anne Cater for my review copy.
See you soon.
Bookish Chat. Xxx