Customer Reviews

17
4.5 out of 5 stars
Jawbone Lake
Format: HardcoverChange
Price:£16.54+Free shipping with Amazon Prime
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Jawbone Lake is set in Derbyshire, the home of the English Peak District, a place of rugged scenery, small towns and villages and a feeling of remoteness from the large cities which surround it. You could summarise it by saying that it’s about a young man discovering that his deceased father was not what everyone had thought him to be. But along the way we have a fine thriller, a psychological study of a young woman who is reluctantly involved in the plot and brilliant word pictures of life at the blunt end of “poverty Britain”.

Joe Arms is called back from his wealthy life in London by his mother when his father’s Land Rover crashes into the ice of a frozen lake. His father (“CJ”) is missing, presumed dead, but the police are bewildered as to the circumstances of the accident. Was another car involved? Did anyone see the accident?

The story moves to Rabbit, a young woman who works in an ice-cream factory and who was standing by the side of the lake when the accident happened. Rabbit has enough on her plate following the cot-death of her baby son and she runs from the scene, having seen another car at the scene and a man with a “dark shape silhouetted in his hand”.

The story moves between Joe and Rabbit throughout the book. Joe as searches for the truth about his father during visits to Spain and Hastings on the Sussex coast (where CJ began his career). Rabbit on the other hand goes to work as normal, but soon realises that someone is looking for her with a view to making sure that there is no chance that she will tell the police of what she saw on the fateful night.

Rabbit is a fascinating character and we learn about her yearning for her lost baby, her monotonous life in the factory and her life with her Auntie Cass and friends Kate and Frankie. The book is as much about Rabbit as it is about Joe, but the two stories are skilfully inter-twined making for a varied read.

As I read the book I found myself quickly drawn into the plot, with brief word-pictures building up just the right amount of framework in my mind. An elegant and fast-moving narrative drove me on through the pages and yet somehow leaving me feeling that this is great writing.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERon 9 January 2014
From the very first visually striking scene of Jawbone Lake I became totally absorbed in this emotive and beautifully rendered novel, and in the lives of Joe, a young man facing life after the disappearance of his father CJ, and Rabbit, a local young woman, recovering from the death of her son. Their lives become inextricably linked as the events leading up to CJ's death impact on both of them: Rabbit as a witness to the death, and Joe discovering many aspects of his father's life, previously unknown to him.

With both Joe and Rabbit being unstintingly empathetic characters, there is a natural connection with them on the part of the reader, which ensures that your attention is fully engaged with them, and as the danger increases for them both, this engagement with them heightens even further. There is a wonderful unfurling and organic growth of their characters, in particular the formerly timid and downtrodden Rabbit, as Joe embarks on a personal mission to discover more of his father's character and shady activities, that take him on a journey through his father's life, from his formative years in Hastings to his other life in Andalusia.

Along with the assured development and linkage of Rabbit and Joe's characters, underscored with some powerfully affecting scenes between the two, Robinson's evocation of place is stunning. Gravitating between three entirely different locales, both geographically and visually, each location is colourfully painted in the reader's minds with a superb evocation of the sights, sounds and atmosphere that Joe experiences in his travels, and the desolate beauty of Ravenstor to which he initially returns, as the scene of his father's disappearance.

I would hesitate to label Jawbone Lake as a traditional thriller as although exhibiting signs of the genre, the writing is much more fixed in my mind as having a more `literary' feel- I would easily compare it to a writer such as Jim Crace in the rendition of its deep rooted emotional themes, and its pitch perfect evocation of place. A beautiful and affecting read.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
TOP 100 REVIEWERon 29 January 2014
A mysterious night-time death in the eponymous lake; a grieving son determined to find out what his father had kept hidden; a reluctant witness to murder... Robinson has adopted the bones of a crime-thriller but has fleshed it out with something more emotional and emotive.

On one level this is another book which asks what is becoming an increasingly well-worn literary question: do we ever know the people we’re closest to? – and, of course, the answer is ‘no’. But on the back of Joe’s quest to find out who his father really was, is a meditation and excavation of what it means to lose someone deeply loved, and how to move forward in life in the wake of grief.

This isn’t a book to choose if you’re looking for a fast-paced action thriller – that’s not where its interests lie. Instead it takes a familiar scenario from crime fiction and gives it a literary makeover. If you want a book which bypasses melodrama for a more realistic and honest look at the impact and aftermath of crime and murder on the people affected, this would be a good choice.

(This review is from an ARC courtesy of the publisher)
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 14 January 2014
Do we ever REALLY know those we love and admire? Ray Robinson's, Jawbone Lake takes us on a mysterious and thrilling journey into the heart of family secrets, and those who keep them. Joe Arms, a likable and educated man, has escaped the confines of his small town life. When his father, CJ, turns up missing Joe's life is shattered. He returns home to comfort his mother while hoping to find answers, but discovering instead more mystery surrounding his father's life and death. As he meticulously pieces things together, he has no clue a young woman named Rabbit, from his home town, has witnessed his father's vehicle plunge into the frozen Jawbone Lake. He doesn't know it was her that made an anonymous call to police. And he certainly doesn't realize the danger she is in.

But Rabbit knows.

The man responsible for CJ's death spotted her on the lake edge watching, and is following her, so Rabbit keeps her own secrets. She wants to come forward to the police and tell them what she witnessed, but is afraid for her life. As Joe unravels more devastating secrets regarding his father's shady dealings, Rabbit clings to her secret. A dangerous game ensues, bringing the story to a tense, moving and unforgettable conclusion.

Once again Ray Robinson has given us a novel that creeps under the skin and goes straight to the heart of loss and hope.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 27 March 2014
I've just finished 'Jawbone Lake.' I thought it was excellent; exciting, tightly plotted, a non-stop unravelling of secrets. It is very much of the thriller genre and I'm admiring of the fact that Robinson met the requirements of the genre so well. (Though I'm not surprised at all, having read 'Forgetting Zoe.') I found Rabbit in particular to be a compelling character. The sections on Grogon had me totally gripped. I found myself rushing through pages to see what happened next. Both the opening and the ending were exquisite. I don't think I'll forgot that last line of the book, or the opening pages which had me hooked. Great plot and style. I'm looking forward to reading Robinson's next novel when it's ready, and the one after that. I am very much his reader now.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 12 March 2014
Once I got over the re-arranged geography (but its no worse than Peak Practice, honest) this book had me hooked. I was reaching for the dictionary and tissues in equal measure, but then I am a bit of an illiterate wuss. The characters reach out and grab you, immerse you in their lives as they search for the truth about their relationships with each other and the past. And hanging over it all is the menace of organised crime, intruding on innocent lives.
Buy it if you like finely crafted and believable thrillers, buy it even if you just love Derbyshire because the backdrop is so brilliantly captured. I'm a fan and I hope they make a film of this one too.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 12 March 2014
Absolutely brilliant. A cleverly woven thriller. Loved the descriptions of places, especially Dimple Bottom and Hawaii shirts. I enjoyed the folklore aspect.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Jawbone Lake is a visceral read, an excellent character study of how people react to death. Joe's father dies mysteriously--but was it suicide or murder? Rabbit witnesses a car plunging off a bridge into the lake but, consumed with her own grief, isn't sure what she saw. I thoroughly enjoyed Ray Robinson's tour of the underside of headline events, past the facts into the bewilderment of what happened and why. He takes the reader into uncharted waters at a steady pace. Definitely recommended.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A car crashes through a bridge and falls through the ice of Jawbone Lake. A woman standing in the dark in the snow at the side of the lake witnesses what happens and runs as a man starts chasing her. Set in the Peak District in Derbyshire, Jawbone Lake a story of lives changed forever when the crash unearths an unknown mysterious life of the respected business man CJ. He leaves behind his father Bill, wife Eileen and son Joe, who are left to figure out who CJ really was. Joe’s search for the truth about his father takes him to Spain, and Hastings, finding another life that CJ lived. The woman who witnessed the crash, Rabbit, has her own grief to deal with is caught on the fringes of the mystery by someone who is pursuing her.

At the centre of the story is Lake Jawbone being carefully woven into the book with death; the death of a village that lay underneath, a man, and the ashes of a baby.

As their lives unravel Robinson has a great way of bringing the reader into the intimacies of each of them. The characters and their actions are very plausible making the book a good read. I like the way that there are links throughout the book encompassing both sides of the hidden underworld to the everyday life of the characters. I love how the descriptions of the changing scenery throughout the seasons convey a respect for the countryside. To me this cleverly written book is both subtle in its story and careful in its language. I particularly like the line “Every remark she made seemed to have a depth to it, another level of inference. Scribbled notes in the margins, whisperings just out of earshot”

A book set in the UK is always special to me. It means I may have travelled the area, can understand the landscape, the localism, and the people. This is such a great book to read to get a real sense of being in the Peak District. This mystery thriller is so beautifully written by someone who understands the art of literature completely.

I think I would like to have known more about CJ’s relationship with the girl in Andalusia although I am not sure that it would have added to the story. However, leaving out much details of CJ’s hidden life gave me a sense of the shock his family was feeling about a man they never really knew. It is simply a curiosity I had reading it because I was unsure of how important their relationship is in the story.

I enjoyed reading this book and would recommend it as an excellent read. I would quite like to read a book written from aspect of CJ’s secret life as a follow up!
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 1 April 2014
This is a wonderful, compelling novel, which I could not put down. It is billed as a literary thriller: it certainly has the best features of a thriller (twists and turns, intrigue and crime, a compelling plot). But it is also a beautifully written literary novel about identity, grief and loss. The main characters are brilliantly observed; their stories feel real and are very moving. The landscapes of the various locations in the book are brilliantly evoked – dark, foreboding and atmospheric. I really loved this book, and highly recommend it to readers of both modern literary fiction and thrillers.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
     
 
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Forgetting Zoe
Forgetting Zoe by Ray Robinson (Paperback - 3 Jun. 2010)
£12.99

Electricity
Electricity by Ray Robinson (Paperback - 2 Mar. 2007)
£7.99

Electricity [DVD] [2015]
Electricity [DVD] [2015] by Agyness Deyn (DVD - 2015)
£7.50
 
     

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.