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Light Reading Paperback – 3 Apr 2009
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'After a good many books which seem to be recycling...Aliya Whiteley's Light Reading is refreshingly different.' -- Sunday Telegraph
'Light Reading is an absorbing read, laced with black humour and full of twists...' -- Eurocrime
'Light Reading makes an interesting read and I believe that Aliya Whiteley is one to watch within the crime scene.' -- It's a Crime!
'Pru is a marvellous creation and Aliya Whiteley is a novelist with genuine flair.' -- Tangled Web
'Whiteley's prose is elegant certainly and insinuates itself into the reader's consciousness with a deceptive ease and lightness of touch.' -- Black Static
`A weird page turner with a surprising ending' -- Now magazine
`This dark detective story is full of mystery and intrigue with a truly shocking twist.' -- My Weekly --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Hardcover.
Prudence Green is a troubled woman. Stifled by her existence as an RAF wife, shes dying for a bit of excitement. When one of the other women on the base commits suicide (having discovered that her husband is having an affair with a male comrade in Iraq), Pru and her best friend Lena are prompted to set off on a memorably surreal journey a criminal investigation, a search for love and an exploration of Prus own dark past. The discontented pair escape the base and arrive in a blighted seaside town, Allcombe, determined to find out the truth behind the supposed suicide of one-time TV star Crystal Tynee. But as they explore the lawless town, Pru and Lena find that Allcombe hides more than one hideous secret. Light Reading is a wickedly clever detective story and a pitch-black mystery, seething with grotesque and unforgettable characters, and concluding with a twist that will leave you breathless. Full of mystery and intrigue with a truly shocking twist My WeeklySee all Product description
Top customer reviews
Pru Green and her friend Lena are RAF wives, they live on an RAF base and take it in turns to visit other wives homes to eat cake and drink coffee while their husbands are away fighting (or whatever - having sex with other men, dressing up in women's clothes) in Iraq.
This life is one of facade. Everyone knows everyone else's dirty little secrets but they remain tight-lipped to maintain equilibrium. In the first chapter this equilibrium is shattered. One of the wives commits suicide, not able to deal with the fact her husband is sleeping with another man.
This man happens to be Lena's husband and Lena and Pru no longer able to cope with the life on the base quickly decamp to Allcombe on a tangent to unravel the mysterious circumstances or not of the death of a former child star.
The month is December and these days Allcombe is not even its best in the summer. Allcombe is a dilapidated seaside resort of fading hotels and insalubrious rest homes, its bars inhabited by bored teenagers on the look out for a quick shag or something more sinister.
Lena and Pro have a hate love love hate relationship, each one trying to work out their own inner turmoils by solving a mystery that may or may not be there.
And this is where Light Reading is so successful. Onto the dynamics of a page turning potboiler is bolted a pairing of real substance and weight. I really wanted to know where these characters had come from and where they were going. The pages kept turning because I wanted to know the answer to the mystery but what I really cared about was what happened to these two. And I wasn't disappointed. There are no easy answers because in life there never is. Hugely enjoyable.
You understand, reader, that a town described as 'sleepy' in such a book is far from sleepy; it's often lively in quite unexpected ways.
That's as far as I can go with the plot. It's genuinely interesting and mysteries and revealed, yet deepened, in much the same manner as Lost, without the concommitant desire to hunt down J J Abrahms and smother him with his own mystery box.
This book has some fantastic dialogue. There is a real tension between the protagonists and Aliya is skilful in her management of the two points of view. There are some moments when this device doesn't quite work. For example, in her diary, Lena reports the contents of a letter verbatim despite having read it one over another character's shoulder. But the duality of the narrative is itself a mystery that keeps the reader wanting to know more.
The ending is subversive and clever. Well worth it.