Friday, 25 January 2019

All The Hidden Truths - Claire Askew // Netgalley Review

This is a fact: Ryan Summers walked into Three Rivers College and killed thirteen women, then himself.

 But no one can say why.

 The question is one that cries out to be answered - by Ryan's mother, Moira; by Ishbel, the mother of Abigail, the first victim; and by DI Helen Birch, put in charge of the case on her first day at her new job. But as the tabloids and the media swarm, as the families' secrets come out, as the world searches for someone to blame... the truth seems to vanish.

 A stunningly moving novel from an exciting new voice in crime, ALL THE HIDDEN TRUTHS will cause you to question your assumptions about the people you love, and reconsider how the world reacts to tragedy.






Review

It's been a while since i read a book in one sitting but this was one of those times, the other day i sat and read the whole thing in one go. All The Hidden Truths was a review book i've had from netgalley for some while right now and i just picked it at random with not much knowledge or remembrance about it.

Ryan Summers walked into Three Rivers College and killed 13 women then turned the gun on himself. Why? The families want answers, the media wants answers and so does his mother. Told through the eyes of those families, the police, with media excerpts, texts and diary entries it makes for a real interesting read. 

I feel like this would really benefit from been read in a book format as i feel this elements really added depth to the narrative. I felt that this book was deeply emotional although like alot of books/instances of a school shooting you dont always get the answers you are seeking. 

All the hidden truths is told from the perspective of DI Birch - a newly promoted police woman who is dealing with some personal issues of her own, taking on her first major case in her new role and trying to keep a handle on the media all at the same time, i really warmed to her and felt for her as she battled all this whilst trying to get answers for the families.

Secondly it is told from the mum of one of the girls who is murdered, Ishbel. We meet her before the tragic event and get an insight into the relationship between the mother and daughter. I again really enjoyed getting to know Ishbel - seeing how she dealt with not only this major trauma but other issues that were going on as well.

Lastly we meet Moira - Ryans mother, who has had her own share of heartbreak already and now has to come to terms with what her only son has done and does she even really know why?

All The Hidden Truths is a deeply moving book that really tackles a serious issue but from the perspective of a fiction reader you dont get much answers, you dont get to learn about the characters - their families and what motivates them but i dont feel like i got full closure. That been said - i would reccomend it in a heartbeat.

Author Info

Claire Askew is a poet, novelist and the current Writer in Residence at the University of Edinburgh. Her debut novel was the winner of the 2016 Lucy Cavendish Fiction Prize, and longlisted for the 2014 Peggy Chapman-Andrews (Bridport) Novel Award. Claire holds a PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Edinburgh and has won a variety of accolades for her work, including the Jessie Kesson Fellowship and a Scottish Book Trust New Writers Award.

Her debut poetry collection, This changes things, was published by Bloodaxe in 2016 and shortlisted for the Edwin Morgan Poetry Award and a Saltire First Book Award. In 2016 Claire was selected as a Scottish Book Trust Reading Champion, and she works as the Scotland tutor for women's writing initiatives Write Like A Grrrl! and #GrrrlCon.

Claire Askew was born in 1986 and grew up in the rural Scottish borders. She has lived in Edinburgh since 2004. Her poems have appeared in numerous publications, including The Guardian, Poetry Scotland, PANK, The Edinburgh Review and Be The First To Like This: New Scottish Poetry (Vagabond Voices, 2014), and have been selected twice for the Scottish Poetry Library's Best Scottish Poems of the Year. In 2013 she won the International Salt Prize for Poetry, and in 2014 was runner-up for the inaugural Edwin Morgan Poetry Award for Scottish poets under 30. She runs the One Night Stanza blog, and collects old typewriters (she currently has around 30). 

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