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Maxim Jakubowski's April 2017 Book of the Month.
Shortlisted for the Last Laugh Award at the CrimeFest Awards 2017.
A first British crime novel, albeit set in a small American community, that appeared a few months ago and only recently came to my attention, Tall Oaks takes a sometimes hackneyed theme and turns it into a thing of wonder. A small child has gone missing, apparently kidnapped and we follow how a group of varied inhabitants of Tall Oaks are affected by the disappearance in an atmosphere reminiscent of both Twin Peaks and Fargo, as the tale that unfolds sensitively blends pathos and even tragedy with an affectionate sense of the absurd and the comic. The grieving mother falls into a downward spiral of despair and degradation, the errant father remains suspiciously absent and uninvolved, the policemen investigating the case obstinately fights against the odds and his own, terrible attraction to one of the suspects, a group of local teenagers, including a splendidly comic figure who aims to become the town's master criminal and dresses ridiculously to cultivate his image, his Syrian refugee acolyte and sidekick, the slightly retarded mother's boy who works at the photo shop, a forlorn waitress and a host of other striking characters take the stage in turn as the story develops and races to a both abominably poignant and also comic conclusion that ties all the threads together most satisfactorily. A gem of a story. Stunning. ~ Maxim Jakubowski
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This month we have 3 of our sturdy, exclusive and simply gorgeous Lovereading Canvas book bags. To have a chance of winning this wonderful prize, click the button below.
Please note that this draw is open only for UK residents and is free to enter. Draw closes on 2 May 2017. The winner will be chosen randomly from all entrants and will be notified by 14 May 2017.
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A big thank you for the two Lovereading bags I ordered, which have arrived safely. I love mine and will use it with pride. The bags are lovely quality, sturdy and support a good cause in the Rewrap initiative; I think they make the perfect accessory for any book lover. The second bag was a gift for my sister and she says she will take it to her next book group meeting to help spread the Lovereading word. Once again, many thanks. Emily Wright
Tall Oaks by Chris Whitaker
Tall Oaks is an idyllic small town, until the disappearance of a young child throws the tight-knit community into crisis. Jess Monroe, the boy's distraught mother, is simultaneously leading the search and battling her own grief and self-destructive behaviour. Her neighbours watch on, their sympathy masking a string of dark secrets. This is a small town where nothing is as it seems, and everyone has something to hide. And as the investigation draws towards a climax, prepare for a devastating final twist...Dark but laugh-out-loud funny, full of suspense and packed with twists, this brilliant new thriller is like nothing you've read before.
'Set in a small California town with a high ratio of weirdos, this quirky debut from a former City of London trader entertains and intrigues' The Sunday Times Crime Club
'A perpetually fascinating read' Heat Magazine
'Manny is a brilliant mix of bravado and teenage angst. This character gives the novel an extra little sparkle which makes it worth seeking out' Reviews Revues
'A gripping debut about a secret ridden American town that is propelled into the national spotlight when a three year old goes missing' The Mail on Sunday
'The supporting cast includes Manny, a podgy, potty-mouthed teenager who wants to be a gangster and who swelters in his woollen three-piece suit and too-tight fedora as he tries to extort money from local shopkeepers, and Jerry, the mountainous, slow-witted manager of a local photo store. They are an absolute delight...highly original...the combination of verve, humour and pathos make it well worth a read' -- Laura Wilson, The Guardian
About the Author
Publication date8th September 2016
More books by Chris Whitaker
Author 'Like for Like'
CategoriesCrime & mystery
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