4 out of 4 stars
Share This Review
Do you like reading a novel which has twists and turns with unexpected outcomes? Do you like a novel which draws you in so you cannot put it down, takes some time to set the scene and builds up realistic characters? If you answered yes to both these questions, then I recommend this novel for you. Concealment by Rose Edmunds is the first novel in the Crazy Amy series and is brilliantly written with excellent plot development.
The novel starts by introducing Amy and her high-flying life. While she seems to have everything that a girl would want with a wonderful job, financial stability and overall success, her manager at work is a bully who continually tries to tap into her insecurities and she has secrets she wants to keep hidden. Amy has a difficult past and is embarrassed about her family history, so she holds many insecurities that people will eventually find out about who she really is, and her façade will crumble. The novel takes some time to build the picture of Amy’s life and assist the reader to understand why she holds this intense insecurity. When a junior colleague is murdered, Amy’s world seems to start collapsing around her, especially when she suspects her manager, Ed Smithies, as being the killer. This theory starts to turn on its head when some of the evidence points to Amy’s guilt for the murder. When her home life starts to spill into her work life, her manager starts to uncover some of her past and Amy appears to alternate between paranoia and being the only person who is thinking clearly. With some of the impulsive and elaborate decisions that she makes to pursue the truth of her workplace and clear her name, the reader is never sure what is coming next. As you near the end of the novel, all the split ends of the puzzle start to come together, and the situation becomes clear.
The factor that I did not like about this novel initially was that it was a bit hard to become immersed in the storyline from the start. This is because there is quite a slow build up to the story in regard to the situation with Amy’s workplace and the character of her manager, Ed. Ed Smithies is described as an egotistical and sexist male in a prominent position and, being a female reader, I found this somewhat hard to digest. However, as I continued reading and became immersed in the story, I can see why there was a lot of build-up required for the storyline.
What I liked most about this novel is that the story was quick to escalate after the slow start. Once this happened, I found that I could not put the book down. The element that I enjoyed most about the storyline was that I always felt that I never knew what was coming next and I had to keep guessing whether Amy’s perception and choices were due to paranoia or whether she was seeing the situation clearly. As I love books with a lot of mystery, it was very thought-provoking and I started to wonder how I would behave in Amy’s situation which, at times, seemed impossible. The language and wording of the novel made it easy to read and there were no significant spelling or grammar issues which always distract from the content of a storyline.
I think that this book would be best suited to readers of either gender. With the content containing themes related to murder, substance abuse issues, mental health, and a complex workplace, I feel that it is better suited to readers over 30 years of age who have some workplace and life experience. I do not think that it is suited to teenage or young readers with these themes and content. Overall, I would rate this book as a 4 out of 4 stars. This is because the story was very compelling and the characters become very realistic and behaved in ways which were believable. The book also appears to have been professionally proofread and edited, so there was a high-quality presentation with no distracting errors.
View: on Bookshelves | on Amazon
Like N_R's review? Post a comment saying so!