Monday, 1 August 2011

CONVICTIONS by Julie Morrigan - a review

What to say, what to say . . .

After reading Julie's collections of short stories Gone Bad her first full length novel on Kindle had a lot to live up to.  Gone Bad is brilliant.  And so is Convictions.

A story opening with the abduction of a child can so easily become an exercise in mawkishness, but not in the hands of a writer like Julie Morrigan.  Her crisp, no-nonsense prose leads the reader into every parent's nightmare forcing us to face the facts and the feelings without sentiment. 

And the parents of the abducted child react as the flawed human beings we all are, not as we might like them to be.  It is brave writing, it is the writing of a story unvarnished, of characters, of human beings looking into the pit of Hell itself.  And who are we to judge?  That is the beauty of Morrigan's writing.  She presents us with characters in situations, and let's us see our own reflection in their dilemna.  It's powerful stuff.

As the plot unfolds and we join the police in their hunt for the missing child, we are exposed to relationships broken never to be mended.  Fundamentally, Convictions is a book about relationships.  The relationships between mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, friends and colleagues - in this case, including the Police force, hunting the abductor of one of their own.  Indeed, the book is, above all, about loss, the loss and potential loss of these relationships and how flawed individuals deal with their own demons in the face of the world crumbling at their feet.

There is no good and bad in Convictions.  And that is the clever bit.  All the characters in the book have convictions, all are convinced they are on the side of right.  And it is up to the reader to see themselves in each nuance.  And it takes a top, top writer to pull that one off.

The pace is swift, and the tension is controlled expertly by Morrigan with no resort to cheap tricks or hyperbole.

If you are looking for an honest to goodness thriller with a human touch that'll have you on the edge of your proverbial seat to the final page, Convictions is the one for you.

Convictions is available in the US here and in the UK here

1 comment:

  1. Wow. Thanks, Ian! I do my best, but you never know how a story will be received. So glad you enjoyed it, and thank you so much for the kind words. They're especially sweet from such a good writer as yourself.