Thursday, 20 December 2007


AUTHOR: Catherine OFlynn


DATE READ: December 2007

NOTES: A very accomplished debut novel. A young girl who wants to be a detective regularly stakes out the local shopping centre making notes and looking for suspects accompanied by her loyal sidekick – a toy monkey. Twenty years later the ramifications of her disappearance are still being felt by people who knew her.

There are some great characters sharply defined and the atmosphere of both the 1980s and the present day well drawn. But central to the story is the Green Oaks shopping centre – glitzy and attractive to customers but tawdry and creepy to the staff who work there. There is a black comedic thread running through the story – the Mystery Shopper is fantastic!

But there is an underlying sadness – loss of love, loss of ideals, guilt and lack of ambition. But O’Flynn handles this all brilliantly and I found I could not put the book down. And for once all the loose ends were satisfactorily tied up……

Very highly recommended. This book well deserved its place on some prestigious book prize lists. One of my top ten books of the year - am now pressing it on others to read!

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