I loved Stef Penney's first novel, set in Canada in the 1860's and feared the leap to her second novel, set in England in the 1980's, was going to be too big. Of course I was wrong and fell in love with The Invisible Ones. It's as powerful and beautiful as her debut, but in a very different, more subtle way.
What starts off as a noir detective thriller soon becomes a mystery novel, the characters slowly working their way into you, becoming real people. And what a great pair they are (the story jumps back and forth with ease between two perspectives): the flawed and scarred private investigator and the innocent teenager, both with big hearts, both to some extend outsiders in the Romany world.
Stef Penney proves (again) to be a great storyteller, being able to describe places and people seemingly without ease, but with great beauty and strength, her pen (well - keyboard, I assume) sometimes as sharp as a knife. I willn't spoil the end for you, but it's not as farfetched as some readers apparently think... Just go with it.
It's a book that is intriguing from the start, growing on you as you read, becoming a page turner almost impossible to put down. After I finished, the two main characters lingered on in my head for a long time, the places kept haunting me, the strong atmosphere surrounding me. A mystery that's more than just about the plot, an imaginative book rooted in a real world, a treat.