By: Elly Griffiths
“Nothing in the world is hidden forever.”-Wilkie Collins, No Name“
Clare Cassidy, a single mother to 15 year old girl Georgie, is an English teacher at Talgarth High School. Talgarth used to be the home of writer R.M. Holland. He wrote a famous short story entitled The Stranger. As a fan of this short story, Clare taught a creative writing class to adults during half-term, which included using the short story to aid in her teaching. That is, until one day one Clare finds out that one of her friends and colleague, Ella, has been murdered. Next to the body lay a note, “Hell is empty,” a line from The Stranger. The two Detectives that are handling the case believe it’s someone that is known to Clare. One day, when she goes to her diary, she notices writing in there that wasn’t hers. It said, “Hallow Clare, you don’t know me.” Who is the killer? How is the killer tied to Clare?
I enjoyed this book more than I thought I would. The author tricked me up until the end when the killer was revealed. I had some suspicions about someone, but I was completely wrong.
The book is told through three different perspectives: Clare, DS Kaur and Georgie. It was interesting to read it provided insights of that particular character as well as how the narrator thought about the other characters. At first, I didn’t like DS Kaur, but she grew on me. I think that’s what the author wanted.
My only issue with the book is this: the book takes place in England. There are references to shows and slang in which I have no idea what the author is writing about. It would help for those of us who aren’t familiar with these things, to have at least some language around those to provide a hint as to what they mean.
Overall, I would recommend this book. You can get it here.