Monday 3 August 2015

Those We Left Behind by Stuart Neville

Thanks to Random House UK, Vintage Publishing and Netgalley, I received a copy of this in exchange for an honest review.....

One Crime.  Two Brothers.  Seven Years of Secrets.

Ciaran and Thomas Devine are brothers, they'd been in and out of foster homes ever since their mother and father died.  Ciaran made Belfast headlines seven years ago as the “schoolboy killer,” is about to walk free.   At the age of twelve, he confessed to the brutal murder of his foster father, he tells the police that his brother Thomas had tried to stop him but he did it because the foster father was doing bad things to Thomas.  Ciaran's testimony reduced the sentence of his older brother, Thomas, who was also found at the crime scene, covered in blood.

The story  follows four key characters; Ciaran, Thomas, DCI Serena Flanagan and Probation Officer Paula Cunningham and  are perfectly written along two timeframes and is narrated in each character's point of view.  DCI Serena Flanagan has just returned to the department after recovering from breast cancer.  Probation Officer Paula Cunningham has been working with Ciaran to help him adjust to his release from prison.

This book is brilliant, it had me gripped from the first few pages right through to the end. I even had to slow down reading it as I didn't want it to end. The story does cover alot of subjects and situations which we're all too familiar with on a daily basis, from bullying, violence to paedophilia, whether it's on the news or in the papers, this story was near enough to real life. It is a pretty gritty book so it's definitely not for the fainthearted.  This is the first time that I've read a book by Stuart Neville, I didn't just like it, I LOVED it and it definitely didn't disappoint.  This is the first book in a new series I am hoping that it won't be too long until we meet DCI Serena Flanagan again and I am really looking forward to Stuart's next book already.  This is a 'must read' for all crime thriller fans.

Those We Left Behind is available on Kindle and in all good bookstores.

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