This is an excellent debut novel. Bev Jones has worked as a journalist in the South Wales area and she uses the background and her experience to full effect. The story starts with a group of young students at Cardiff university, all apparently good friends, but right from the start there is a sense of something slightly out of joint, not quite right between them, and this sense of menace grows steadily until by the middle of the book we are in the middle of what appears to be a serious crime that has crept up on everyone unawares. The author displays great skill in showing how very small, almost insignificant everyday incidents can lead the reader – and narrator – into a maze of unexpected horror from which the only escape seems to be the murder of her best friend. The title -Telling Stories’ – is significant; as a journalist the narrator finds herself writing about a crime in which she herself may be implicated. That is, if it really is a crime – all of her sources tell different stories which are only tangentially related to the truth. No one knows the real picture, but each person, at different points, is compelled to act on what they think they know, daring to `disturb the universe’ and creating a new kaleidoscope of danger and deception.
The book starts slowly but becomes steadily more compelling. Bev Jones writes well, and she knows what she is writing about. I look forward to her second novel with interest.
Did you enjoy this review? Subscribe to my blog and you won’t miss the next one! It’s easy: just enter your email address in the upper right hand corner of this page. And don’t worry – I’ll never sell, share or rent your contact information. That’s a promise!