Two ten year-olds are accused of a terrible crime. And they refuse to speak.
The book opens with the horrible crime but the names and motives are not explained. Great hook. Then it reveals that the perpetrators are two cousins, their mothers being sisters. They refuse to speak, but in different ways - they don't speak of the truth about family secrets.
It was a pleasure to read something set in a place I know well for a change. Nottingham is fewer than thirty miles from where I live and it is where I studied. I know the lace market but more than that I know how bad the traffic is, something I was glad to see included.
There is a lot that is familiar in this novel beside the location. The narrative and language used is up to date, easy phrases and references to common culture as well as famous British criminal cases involving children. It is not a gory read but focuses on the mothers and a psychologist and how they deal with such a sensitive and delicate issue. When nobody speaks, how can the truth be discovered? That is theme throughout.
It is interesting to see how young children are dealt with by the police in this country and the stress is causes all concerned. The mothers (sisters) approach the situation differently but both believe that their child could not commit a crime such as this. The big reveal at the end is slightly familiar and a tad unrealistic and there are too many faces that 'darken', but these are the only weak points. The story highlights how people can quickly turn against others, and the way we all referer to social media, and are influenced by it, is very timely.
The book is well paced, easy to read and identify with (if you live in England anyway) and keeps the reader's attention. Recommended.
Published by Bookouture on 24 July 2019. Advanced review copy supplied by the publisher