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"She felt cold liquid splash her ankles... She ran..."
on 22 July 2012
The mother (Carrie) of the son in question is a television pundit whose programme I imagine is meant to be something like The Jeremy Kyle Show, or a British version of Oprah. I'm not really into reality TV so my imagery might be slightly off. The kind of show, anyway, where stupid people take their dissatisfactions out on the world in public (or at least, on TV). Although the book tried very hard to make this woman sympathetic, Ms Hayes failed with me.
There were certain other characters that failed the reality test as well - the clever boy who voluntarily moved from a top academic institution to a sink school in a rough area of London. Without either parent even having checked out what kind of school he was enrolling in(!). The mother and the father had rather strange backgrounds. He is a black mathematician - a professor at a top University. He went blind four years after their marriage and they split up soon after. She - as mentioned above, is part of the reality TV culture. They are really strange. I couldn't really bring either of them to life in my imagination.
However, the plot, although atrociously drawn out, is quite interesting at times, especially as her son, Max, is a knife-crime victim and there are other complications of his friendship with Dayna, a mixed-race schoolgirl with a horrible home-life. There are all sorts of quirkinesses in the plot which I don't want to give away, even though you need a sieve to sort out what will hold water and what won't. I've read a lot better, The Hunger Trace by Edward Hogan for instance, beats this into a cocked hat!