Review by Lochinvara -- Concealment by Rose Edmunds

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Review by Lochinvara -- Concealment by Rose Edmunds

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[Following is a volunteer review of "Concealment" by Rose Edmunds.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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Review by Lochinvara

When I read a book, I like to learn something. A lot of things, actually. And I want to be able to access my imagination up there somewhere between my brain and the heavens and not be called back to earth for inconsistencies, loose ends and circumstances that defy logic. That happens too much these days. But not reading this story. Hallelujah! Thank you, author Rose Edmunds, for this wonderful reading experience. Both the writing and the editing are superb.

Today’s market is glutted with books that purport to be literature but are in fact simply extensions of diaries or conversations or Facebook posts, and grammatically poor ones at that. The authors come up with one great idea and build around that single theme but they don’t know how to develop it fully and both the idea and the book therefore never quite fulfill their joint destiny. Disappointment reigns when book is promoted as a thriller and fails to thrill. I’m happy to report that this book is the real deal.

Concealment by Rose Edmunds is a true, literate novel with meticulous thought put into every aspect. It is rife with tension, suspense, and challenges to the intellect.

More than that, it’s laugh-out-loud funny at times, lampooning corporate excess (e.g. glass elevators with flashing colored lights), individual greed and other common flaws of humanity. On top of this, the narrator is a formidable yet self-deprecating female. Her keen wit and sense of irony make it an entirely enjoyable read. I rate it 4 out of 4.

Full disclosure: Dear Reader, I am an anglophile. I love all things British, from the Beatles to Downton Abbey, from Kate Atkinson to Kate Middleton. And I loved reading this book from the get-go. Britishisms abound in this novel but most are understandable in context. And if you want to learn something, you always have the convenience of researching on Google.

Some examples: gobby cow = greedy, selfish, overweight lady; doddle = very easy task; poxy = poor quality.

Although most of the action is in London, the setting could as easily have been in New York or any other large city for that matter. Edmunds captures a universality in her characters and situations that bypasses cultural borders and unites us in our shared similarities.

For example, “People saw the clothes first and made assumptions about the person who wore them.

That is so universal – and so New York!

The plot: Amy Robinson, the narrator, is a partner in a large accounting firm with over 100 people reporting to her. Early on, she discloses that she harbors a terrible secret but does not elaborate. Shortly before the halfway point in the book, her secret is revealed, and from that point on the personal and professional compartments of her life unravel, inextricably tied to the death of one of her employees.

The tension mounts, with Amy a lit firecracker relentlessly spiraling upward until she explodes. Or does she? All along the way uncertainties persist. Whom can Amy trust? Edmonds masterfully flips each character numerous times with potential supportive and destructive motives until it’s not clear who is friend and who is foe. Amy’s one friend and employee? Her ex-husband? Her new boss? The police? The CEO of her client firm about to close a megadeal? Is Amy actually insane? Is she being gaslighted? Is she paranoid? Is everything she recounts real or wholly or partially in her head?

And what is truth, anyway? Is there such a thing? In the context of a corporate meeting, Edmunds nails the concept in a way so apropos of what unfortunately has become acceptable, if not the norm, in today’s media: “Someone important formed a negative view, others ‘independently' followed, and it quickly became established as the truth.”

Unfortunately, these days largely due to the prominence of social media, it doesn’t even have to be someone important who initially forms the negative opinion. It could be a moronic troll on twitter. And the exposure of such contemporary reality is exactly what a good writer like Edmunds chronicling her time does best.

So, for those who relish a good read and want to be mentally stimulated with a dash of thriller sprinkled throughout, this is the book. And I will definitely be reading more of Rose Edmunds. In addition to her first novel, Never Say Sorry, There are two more “Crazy Amy” books out there!

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Post by BelleReadsNietzsche »

A literate thriller with a laugh-out-loud sense of humor? Sounds delightful, as do the Britishisms. Thanks for your review. :)
"The bitter truth we critics must face is that, in the grand scheme of things, the average piece of junk is probably more meaningful than our criticism designating it so." -Ratatouille (2007)
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