Monday, 9 December 2013

Like This, For Ever

Like This, For Ever by Sharon Bolton
Published by Corgi Books
7th November 2013
Paperback Edition

Twelve-year-old Barney Roberts is obsessed with a series of murders.

He knows the victims are all boys, just like him.  He knows the bodies were found on river banks nearby.  And he’s sure the killer will strike again soon.

But there’s something else, a secret he’d rather not know, a secret he is too scared to share…

And who would believe a twelve-year-old boy anyway?

‘They say it’s like slicing through warm butter, when you cut into young flesh.’
     For a second, the counsellor was still.  ‘And is it?’ she asked.
    ‘No, that’s complete rubbish.’
    ‘So, what is it like?’
    ‘Well, granted, the first part’s easy.  The parting of the skin, that first rush of blood.  The knife practically does it for you, as long as it’s sharp enough.  But after that first cut you have to work pretty hard.’
    ‘I imagine so.’
    ‘The body’s fighting you, for one thing.  From the moment you cut, it’s trying to heal itself.  The blood starts to clot, the artery or vein or whatever it is you’ve opened is trying to close and the skin is producing that icky, yellowy stuff that eventually becomes a scab.  It’s really not easy to go beyond that first cut.’
    ‘It seems to be largely about the first cut for you, would that be fair to say?’
    The patient nodded in agreement.  ‘Definitely.  By the time the knife touches the skin, the noise in my head is close to unbearable – I feel like my skull’s about to blow apart.  But then there’s that first drop of blood, and the next, and then it’s just streaming out.’

Sharon (formally S.J.) Bolton is back, and with what I believe is her best book to date.  12 year old Barney is obsessed with a spate of murders that are happening in London, near where he lives.  All of them are young boys, of similar age to him.  These murders seem to occur either on Tuesday or Thursday nights, the very same nights when his dad is at work.  Detective Inspector Dana Tulloch is in charge of these disappearances, and unfortunately more children are vanishing.  It doesn’t help that when the media seems to be more aware of the facts than the police do, thanks to a mysterious man who posts on Facebook.  When Barney and his friends decide to turn detective it can only lead to one thing.  Can DI Tulloch get there in time or will more boys disappear?

This is a total page-turner, so much so, that I read it in just 24 hours.  Sharon Bolton can certainly tell a tale.  She manages to pull you into the story to the extent that you are sure you know ‘whodunnit’ only for her to make you change your mind a few pages later.  I was hooked and sped through this, trying to work out who the killer was going to be, but was still guessing until right to the end!

Happy Reading

Miss Chapter x

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