Post Script: Painkiller – N J Fountain


N J Fountain
Hachette Australia
Little, Brown Book Group
ISBN: 9780751561197

Her pain is constant. And the danger is real.

Monica suffers from chronic neuropathic pain. Every second of her life is spent in agony, and she is coping with it the best she can. However, there are whole years of her life which are a blur to her.

Then Monica finds a suicide note, in her handwriting, saying she is going to end it all. Did she write it? She has no memory of doing so and as she reads the message again, she begins to suspect that someone tried to kill her once – and now they’re trying to do so again…

My View:
This novel starts with a great hook – the reader is plunged into Monica’s world of constant nerve pain – for those who have never suffered nerve pain – it is a pain like no other, nothing relieves it, prescribed pain killers/ drugs mess with your mind, sleep is your only escape that is if you can manage to get to sleep. Monica’s pain is chronic and constant. I know this place that Monica inhabits, though my nerve pain is not as extreme and does eventual resolve itself.

And so we are introduced to Monica, to her pain, her unreliable memories, and her life. The discovery of a suicide note that she thinks she may or may not have penned adds to a constant suspicion the reader feels that there is something else going on here, something not quite right. This feeling grows stronger the longer we stay in Monica’s world. Monica is a wonderfully engaging, resourceful, heroic female protagonist.
I love the unreliable narrator. I love the twists and turns, they hit you with a knock out punch! The ending is superb.

All in all a great narrative, the unreliable narrator works its magic effectively and seductively – you just want to know what is really happening. I had the occasional short period of reading when I could no longer suspend my disbelief but these periods were minimal and I was able to continue my enjoyment of this script. This is a brilliant addition to my collection of domestic noir!

6 thoughts on “Post Script: Painkiller – N J Fountain

  1. Interesting premise for a story, Carol! And sometimes, the unreliable narrator works very, very well. In this case, I am wondering who wrote that suicide note, I must admit. I prefer not to have my disbelief stretched too far, but sometimes, that can be forgiven.

  2. Great review. I suffer from chronic pain, but unsure as to whether reading about a character like this will make me more aware of my own pain etc. (when I went to Pain Management course, the pain was always worse that day because we were talking about it all day).
    Great review though!

    • Thanks Tracey . I get nerve pain – every now and then – I suffer from the occasional herniated disc – but it just made me go – yep, aha i get this…but yes I know what you mean sometimes the talking/thinking about something painful (not just physical pain) can bring it all back to the fore.

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