Review: Hangman – Jack Heath

Hangman

Hangman

Timothy Blake #1

Jack Heath

Allen & Unwin Australia

ISBN: 9781760297473

 

Description:

A 14-year-old boy vanishes on his way home from school. His frantic mother receives a disturbing ransom call. It’s only hours before the deadline, and the police have no leads.

 

Enter Timothy Blake, codename Hangman. Blake is a genius, known for solving impossible cases. He’s also a sociopath – the FBI’s last resort.

 

But this time Blake might have met his match. The kidnapper is more cunning and ruthless than anyone he’s faced before. And Blake has been assigned a new partner, a woman linked to the past he’s so desperate to forget.

 

Timothy Blake has a secret, one so dark he will do anything to keep it hidden.

 

And he also has a price. Every time he saves a life, he takes one…

 

Already sold into five territories, Hangman is a mesmerising dissection of the criminal mind and a bulletproof thriller.

 

 

My View:

Gruesome. Gory. More gore.

 

Jack Heath pushes the boundaries when it comes to the dietary habits of his antihero Timothy Blake. Blake is a challenged and dysfunctional character like no other I have read. This novel is equally compelling and repelling and if it wasn’t so convincingly written I would’ve stopped at the first bite.

 

There is no doubt Jack Heath is an accomplished writer who, in this instance, has pushed the boundaries of “acceptable” in this pitch black narrative that is served with a side of equally black humour, romance and mystery.  I don’t think I have ever read anything like this before. The book comes with a warning and it should be heeded.

 

The good news, the second book in the series, Hunter, accomplishes much more without the level of gross that Hangman celebrates.  Stay tuned for my review of Timothy Blake #2: Hunter.

 

PS – This is the perfect read for your book club – if you can stomach the contents 🙂  Guaranteed to get people talking.

 

 

 

Post Script: I Forgot To Remember – Su Meck with Daniel De Vise

The perfect book club read.

I Forgot to Remember Su Meck Cover

I Forgot to Remember

Su Meck and Daniel De Vise

Simon & Schuster

ISBN: 9781451685817

 

Description:

In 1988 Su Meck was twenty-two and married with two children when a ceiling fan in her kitchen fell and struck her on the head, leaving her with a traumatic brain injury that erased all her memories of her life up to that point. Although her body healed rapidly, her memories never returned.

Yet after just three weeks in the hospital, Su was released and once again charged with the care of two toddlers and a busy household. Adrift in a world about which she understood almost nothing, Su became an adept mimic, gradually creating routines and rituals that sheltered her and her family, however narrowly, from the near-daily threat of disaster, or so she thought. Though Su would eventually relearn to tie her shoes, cook a meal, and read and write, nearly twenty years would pass before a series of personally devastating events shattered the normal life she had worked so hard to build, and she realized that she would have to grow up all over again.

In her own indelible voice, Su offers us a view from the inside of a terrible injury, with the hope that her story will help give other brain injury sufferers and their families the resolve and courage to build their lives anew. Piercing, heartbreaking, but finally uplifting, this book is the true story of a woman determined to live life on her own terms.

 

My View:

This is a book that caused much debate, actually let me re phrase that; not so much debate – but rather a consensus and shared sadness that these events relayed in this memoir actually occurred – the systems that let you down Su, the situations that you coped with on your own are heartbreaking; this is an open, frank and at times confronting creative memoir that offers an insider’s view of life after suffering a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) but more or rather should I say in addition, this is a story of a family’s struggle to cope are with a horrendously debilitating injury and this is a story of domestic violence – Su, I know you probably dont want to hear that but the moment I started reading your story the warning bells rung loud and clear to me… such manipulation and control and anger…

 

Apparently Jim (the husband) agreed to have all these reflections of behaviour and attitudes “on record” (p.274), for me that does not excuse the behaviour. Su, you also reflect here on why you stay with Jim…I leave that you the reader to absorb and contemplate.

 

My voice clearly echoes the feelings this book has stirred up. This is an extraordinary book. Su you are living an extraordinary life; good luck and I hope you do find love.

 

This is the perfect book club read – I know it will educate and it will definitely create debate… and evoke many feelings.

**Reading/Book club notes for this book can be found here: http://books.simonandschuster.com.au/I-Forgot-to-Remember/Su-Meck/9781451685824/reading_group_guide

 

 

Post Script: A Monster Calls – Patrick Ness

This is a great book club read – guaranteed to arouse much discussion and emotion.

A Monster Calls

A Monster Calls

Patrick Ness from an original idea by Siobhan Dowd

Walker Books Ltd

ISBN: 9781406336511

 

Description:

At seven minutes past midnight, thirteen-year-old Conor wakes to find a monster outside his bedroom window. But it isn’t the monster Conor’s been expecting — he’s been expecting the one from his nightmare, the nightmare he’s had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments.

 

The monster in his backyard is different. It’s ancient. And wild. And it wants something from Conor. Something terrible and dangerous. It wants the truth.

 

From the final idea of award-winning author Siobhan Dowd — whose premature death from cancer prevented her from writing it herself — Patrick Ness has spun a haunting and darkly funny novel of mischief, loss, and monsters both real and imagined.

 

My View:

This is a delight to read – fresh, interesting, heart breaking and engaging and so well written the pages fly by. I really enjoyed this modern day fairy tale and the messages it delivered. This novel speaks to all – young and old, healthy and not so…It speaks of the truths we find so hard to say out loud but should be saying regardless of the discomfit we may feel at the time. It speaks of the strengths we all have, even if sometimes those strengths are hidden deep within us and it speaks of the courage needed to speak the truth – to ourselves and out loud to those who need to listen and finally it speaks of the courage it takes to survive.

 

This is a beautifully written book told from the view point of a young boy – his voice innocent, beguiling and sometimes terrifying…and so so sad. This is a fast paced read, a narrative written with passion and compassion.

 

This book is best read with a box of tissues close by.