Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Revealing the Strange World of Jack's Room

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Revealing the Strange World of Jack's Room

Article excerpt

Room by Emma Donoghue is published in hardback by Picador, priced pounds 12.99. Available now.

WRITTEN entirely from the perspective of a fiveyear-old boy, Emma Donoghue's much-hyped novel Room, inspired by the Fritzl case, is rewarding and frustrating in equal measure. Young Jack and his mother, Ma, are permanently locked inside a small room - their interaction with the outside world limited to television and occasional visits from the sinister Old Nick. This genre-bending take on reality is written with verve, beauty and imagination as Donoghue describes the loving but often strained relationship between mother and child, Jack's attempts to make sense of a world he knows little about and how his mother struggles to deal with her fate.

The book stumbles, however, in its portrayal of the more peripheral characters who enter the novel later on: the evil journalist, struggling father and bumbling but well-intentioned mother, all seem glib and trite in their execution. That said, it's easy to understand why the novel was the subject of a bidding war between rival publishers. Mixing elements of suspense, mystery and comedy, it's a fantastic page turner, even if its conclusion is somewhat dissatisfying. 7/10 CHRISTOPHER CORR Hangman by Faye Kellerman is published in hardback by HarperCollins, priced pounds 20. Available August 19.

FAYE Kellerman has amassed a huge and loyal following through her series of books featuring LAPD detective Peter Decker, and it's easy to understand why.

Most fictional crime thriller heroes and heroines have a touch of the maverick about them - think Rebus, Lincoln Rhymes, or the greatest enigma of them all, Sherlock Holmes.

Decker is different - in that he's normal. He's got a loving wife and family and they feature large in Kellerman's novels.

Make no mistake, fans of gruesome crimes and stomach-churning detail will not be disappointed, but the reader is also drawn into the closely knit and comforting world of Decker and his wife Rina Lazarus. …

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