Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Book Review: My Girl by Jack Jordan

When you look at the slightly moody Black and white shot in the back of “My Girl”, your mind does not immediately assimilate that fresh faced young man with the subjects that  make up this rather dark and twisty tale.

That baby face hides a fiendishly warped imagination used with rapier sharp skill and deftness to craft a finely honed thrill ride.

Jack Jordan  seems to particularly excel in depicting the seedier things in life. The squalor of  the home of Paige, our heroine; living the dissolute life of a woman whose life has been laid waste by the loss of a child in the most violent and horrific manner . His description is fragrant with staleness and rancid vomit. One can see the disarray and chaos both in evidence in her house but also as a symbol of her own internal turmoil.

 Never getting the closure she needs to heal and begin life again, Paige’s misery is compounded by the  recent suicide of her husband who was seemingly unable  to adapt to their shared himself. Now addicted to  drink and prescription drugs, Paige is barely existing. It is in the depiction of her inertia that Mr Jordan skilfully evokes the depths to which she has sunk without overpowering the reader with flowery descriptors, the prose is spare and all the more powerful for it.

Seemingly at rock bottom and almost completely lost to herself, let alone those few people left behind who desperately want her recovery, we are like Paige herself left , questioning her sanity as
the strange things that she has put down to lapses in memory during drunken fugues begin to pile up  and challenge even her willingness to wilfully ignore all things but the wine bottle and the  blister pack of benzodiazepines.

The story is fast paced and filled with enough twists to satisfy any thriller fan.  To comment more would be a disservice to a clever plot that just keeps on giving.  Thrillers are not normally my genre of choice, but this kept me darkly rapt, my mind at once recoiling and yet clamouring to see where it might all lead.

If I were to complain at all it would be that  after such a masterful set up of false crescendos that the final act seemed just the tiniest bit rushed, but I suspect  this was just my greed for more of  this story,  being so absorbing and in no way a real criticism as the brevity at it’s end in no way detracts from what was a truly enjoyable, (if  at times cringeworthy ) experience!!

Five bright shining stars!

1 comment:

  1. Emma, I can't read this book, it would depress me-- but your prose is a breath of fresh air. You convey so much depth when you write, and you really have empathy for all the characters in novels, even the rock-bottom ones! Brava!