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All the Hidden Truths (Three Rivers) Hardcover – 9 Aug 2018
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Gripping, heartbreaking and horrifyingly plausible. I couldn't tear myself away from this book. Claire Askew is a stunning new voice in crime fiction. (Erin Kelly, author of He Said/She Said)
This is a such a clever, brave book. Askew looks unflinchingly at the unimaginable, but her writing is wrought with compassion. It's as heart-rending as it is gripping. (Sabine Durrant, author of Lie With Me)
you'll be gripped by the unexpected truths that emerge. Compelling. (Marie Claire)
Emotionally engrossing, morally challenging, horribly topical (Tammy Cohen)
When we think about Edinburgh crime our thoughts turn to Ian Rankin and Val McDermid. Claire Askew could be up there with them. (The Bookbag)
A gripping, thought provoking and ultimately uplifting crime debut. I love that this book, which focusses on a crime against women, is itself about women and not the man that committed the crime. A story of how, when something terrible happens, you might start to pick up some of the tiny little pieces of your life and try to find a way through. The story, the characters and the city are all vivid and utterly alive and they left me feeling angry and full of adrenaline and love. (Lucy Ayrton, author of One More Chance)
There's so much to enjoy about this compelling debut. The three different viewpoints really pulled me in to the story, and got me thinking about the nature of victimhood as well as collective social responsibility. This is a timely, relevant, and thought-provoking novel. (Sarah Franklin, author of Shelter)
A novel so shockingly current that it seems to fictionalise the world even as it changes around us. (Shelley Harris, author of Vigilante)
Really excellent - totally gripping... very realistic. One to look out for (Sophie Cameron, author of Out Of The Blue)
A wrenching, gripping, unforgettable debut crime novel for fans of Susie Steiner and Kate Atkinson.See all Product description
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There is a shooting at Three Rivers college in Scotland. The killer shoots thirteen women dead and then turns the gun on himself making it fourteen deaths in total in the space of not many more minutes. As the town reels in the aftermath, the story is taken up by and told from the perspective of three women. The mother of the first victim, Ishbel Hodgekiss loses her daughter, she is the first one he shoots. Moira Summers is the mother of Ryan Summers who killed all the young women and injured the boyfriend of Helen although not fatally. D I HElen Birch is the newly appointed police Inspector who heads up the investigation.
This book is going to stay with me for a long time, and I really hope that Claire Askew will write another in this vein as I would love to see more of DI Birch. It is hard to believe this is a debut novel. I would give this book ten stars if I could, absolutely outstanding.
Narrative of ‘All The Hidden Truths’ focuses on Helen Birch and a particularly unpleasant journalist who has harassed her in the past, and it highlights the dilemma of knowing who is the killer and who are the victims, but not knowing why. From different perspectives the story also unfolds through the input of the killer’s mother, and the parents of the first of the killer’s victims. Again points are skilfully made by the author with concentration on the helplessness and frustrations of those caught up in the tragedy, and in particular of the influences of press and social media.
Cleverly interwoven into the narrative are emails, twitter feeds, news articles etc. that play the blame game and reflect the anger of the community. Emotions are exposed and secrets are revealed as those involved attempt to come to turns with the ‘why’ and to seek retribution – or reconciliation. This allows glimpses of the truth of what sparked the killing spree, and in addition to ‘All The Hidden Truths’ being a gripping and compelling crime story – it is genuinely moving and thought provoking – and it fully deserves a 5-star rating.
Ryan Summers walks into the college in Edinburgh where he studies and shoots dead thirteen girls, before turning the gun on himself. We read then of the initial actions of the police, and follow them through what happens next, as family liaisons are created, and the parents are informed. Of course as the media circus moves in so the families are harassed by the gutter press. Some of this story then appears as reports and as on-line news site pieces.
Why this works is because it looks at a shooting from a different perspective, in what has to be processed, how people and families are affected, and how the Press at times can be too intrusive, how the general public reacts, and as we can read here, other aspects as well. So, through the main three female characters here we can get a much better idea and feel for how things can go wrong, and the stresses and strains put on people.
With Moira receiving death threats, does she actually have any clue to what her son was going to do? Did Ishbel really know her daughter that well? And for Helen, this brings back memories, especially due to one member of the Press, who is out to find a big scoop. You can also see how conspiracy theorists and other groups react to such news.
If you are looking for an interesting and well written novel about the aftermath of a mass shooting, then you should enjoy reading this. But – please do not but this and moan about it afterwards because it isn’t a basic crime thriller, after all if that is what you are looking for there are plenty on the market.
The following story is told from the viewpoint of 3 characters. Ryan's mother, the mother of his first victim Abigail, and the newly appointed DI Helen Birch, who is in charge of the case.
It also reflects the way the public react to such a tragic event....and its not always very edifying as we know! Also, how the press behave....again....like vultures at times...especially one ghastly character, with whom, Helen already has a history.
This is a great crime novel....very absorbing and fast paced. I think it could well be the start of a series, if successful, as there is quite a few things left incomplete, including the disappearance of Helen's brother several years ago...which led her to join the police force originally.
It would make a good tv drama too.
This was both gripping and chilling. I'd love to see this made into a TV Drama.
Quick get onto the BBC
A brilliant look into the psych of the teen and all of the signs that led him to kill 13!
Watch Claire Askew, I know I'll be looking for other books.