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The Boy by Gary L Clarke
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The Boy

by Gary L Clarke

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Another debut Australian novel where the blurb will provide a good indication of the style of storytelling. Police procedural in concept, there's a lot going on in THE BOY, leading to a rather complicated and not always well served by procedural correctness, story of a young boy and a cop, haunted by the same unsolved multiple-murder.

Choosing to use direct speech in telling a story of positively epic detail has resulted in something that feels more visual than anything else, not always providing this reader with a pathway to connect with any characters and the story they are trying to divulge. There is so much detail, so much information, so much telling that there were points at which this reader started to feel overwhelming panic about keeping up. Strangely that also lead to small things standing out - references to race which felt wrong, those procedural elements which seemed factually incorrect.

At the core of THE BOY is an interesting idea - that of a young witness to a brutal event who is traumatised for years afterwards, and what it takes to bring somebody like that out of their self-imposed exile. To solve a cold-case, to bring somebody to justice when you're dealing with such a witness must be the hardest thing in the world, and there were aspects of that difficulty buried in THE BOY for readers who are more attuned to the style of writing used here.

https://www.austcrimefiction.org/review/review-boy-gary-l-clarke ( )
  austcrimefiction | Jun 6, 2016 |
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