By J.B. Mylet
The Homes – fiction based on a true story, is a Must Read, breath-taking phenomenal thriller. It’s a fabulous Scottish Crime book that is hard to put down, and I don’t use that term lightly. Find out more in the blurb and more of my thoughts in my full below. Thanks firstly to Viper Books for sending me a lovely hardback copy to review from. Chris Brookmyre reckons it’s ‘Set to be one of the Scottish crime books of the year’. I can totally see that happening with its original story-telling and setting.
There were good people in The Homes. But there were also some very, very bad ones…
A thousand unwanted children live in The Homes, a village of orphans in the Scottish Lowlands on the outskirts of Glasgow. Lesley was six before she learned that most children live with their parents. Now Lesley is twelve, and she and her best friend Jonesy live in Cottage 5, Jonesy the irrepressible spirit to Lesley’s quiet thoughtfulness.
Life is often cruel at The Homes, and suddenly it becomes much crueller. A child is found murdered. Then another. With the police unable to catch the killer, Lesley and Jonesy decide to take the matter into their own hands. But unwanted children are easy victims, and they are both in terrible danger…
Inspired by a true story, and introducing readers to the unforgettable voice of young orphan Lesley, The Homes is a moving and lyrical thriller, perfect for readers of Val McDermid, Chris Whitaker, Jane Casey and Denise Mina.
The Homes is an orphanage village in Glasgow called The Homes. The book immerses you into this with its fast-paced chapters. I read this in a couple of days. Chapter after chapter went by. I was utterly hooked. It would have been one day, but the need for sleep eventually defeated me. The characters within The Homes are great to know as you follow their daily lives, especially Lesley, Jonesy and Eadie. Then murder strikes and then there’s a mysterious disappearance and everyone is in danger, and could there be someone else who is next? Everything changes!
How safe are the people in The Homes?
Detective Walker is then deployed to be on the case.
It’s told from the children’s point of view, which is perfectly and exquisitely executed as their personalities shine through, right to the way they speak and interact with each other, especially the main characters – Lesley and Jonesy as they try to guess who the murderer is, so off Lesley trots to The Homes Library, which sounds great in this complex of homes, to see what they could find out. This also reveals more about their differing personalities, but also their connections to each other.
Readers will get the feel of what it is like to be in an orphanage through Lesley and Jonesy and also the friendship that’s developed between them. In this sense, it is heartwarming, but there are emotional elements that would break your heart too, apart from the murder, there’s a gran who is pivotal to their story too and some real questions are asked as there’s much pondering from Lesley about grown-ups in general and why her mum didn’t want her, or how this is percieved. The gran is simply wonderful and also brings a heartwarming element to this story that has the darkest of undertones. It’s a thought-provoking crime book as well as absolutely all encompassing and enthralling. Read the Postscript at the back too. It’s utterly fascinating about how this story needed to be told and how it came about.
This is a book I absolutely highly recommend!