#BookReview: The Interview by Gill Perdue @gillperduewrite @PenguinUKBooks @NetGalley

Hi everyone! Today, I have a book review for an author new to me, Gill Perdue. I came across this book via NetGalley  >>>

About the Book:

The Interview by Gill Perdue book coverA girl covered in blood. A missing man. A coded fairy tale.

Detective Laura Shaw seems to have it all: a supportive husband, a happy two-year-old and a great career. She is her team’s top victim interviewer, a genius at getting vulnerable people to open up.

That’s until she meets Jenny – a 14-year-old assault victim who talks only in fairy tales. Jenny’s stepfather is missing and the blood on her clothes isn’t her own, so Laura’s colleagues need answers fast.

But Laura’s strange behaviour makes the girl shut down even more, leaving her bewildered partner, Niamh, desperately trying to rescue the situation.

It seems that this case has triggered something deep within Laura, and Jenny is not the only one with secrets. As the clock ticks down, Laura teeters on the brink of disaster, grappling with the biggest question of all:

Is every life worth saving?

 

My Review:

🌟🌟🌟

A Heavy Read

 

Thanks to NetGalley and Penguin Books UK for this Advanced Review Copy.

The title, cover, and description all intrigued me, and I was delighted to receive a review copy of this book. While I expected a dark read, I hadn’t expected to be quite so heavy or brutal. For certain, major triggger warnings are needed for this book, for which at present there are none. The narrative deals with domestic abuse, physical and sexual child abuse, and adult rape. The descriptions are graphic and occur numerous times.

To be honest, I struggled to connect, and therefore, root for either main character—Jenny and Laura—despite their respective traumas. I did, however, love Niamh, who really came alive for me.

“Inside, my mouth is jammed and crammed with blood and teeth and jagged helps that can’t get out.” … This opening line gives a good sense of where the book goes from here. We have a young girl found on the street covered in blood. Topically, there are no CAMHS beds available, so poor Jenny ends up on an adult psych ward while she waits for the doctors, social services, and the police to assess and interview her. Problematical, is the fact that the lead detective, Laura, has issues of her own, and her long battled and buried PTSD is no longer happy to stay quiescent.

One huge annoyance for me, and a thing which yanked me out of the read over and over and over again, was the use of ‘literally’. More than a few times, I wanted to throw my ereader across the room … literally!! Ugh. Aside from this, some lines stood out wonderfully, such as …

“She goes back into her silence, shrugging it over her shoulders like a coat.”

And …

“He nodded—the pissed-off nod rather than the friendly one.”

And …

“But that’s the problem. Time is running out and truth is running in.”

I believe this novel will be a marmite read for many, in that they’ll either love it or they’ll hate it, with not many on the fence. Having said that, I kind of AM on the fence about it. On one hand, the book covers some difficult yet essential issues. On the other, the characterisation fell flat for me. Furthermore, I found myself disbelieving the neat and tidy ending. I’m certain more consequences would have befallen Laura, and I’m not at all sure that four months would have seen such a remarkable improvement in poor Jenny. So, all in all, it’s an okay read. I loved some parts and hated others. It gets 3 stars from me, which means if you can handle the heavy, give it a go. You might just love it.

***

NOTE ON RATINGS: I consider a 3-star rating a positive review. Picky about which books I give 5 stars to, I reserve this highest rating for the stories I find stunning and which moved me.

 

5 STARS: IT WAS AMAZING! I COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN! — Highly Recommended.

4 STARS: I WOULD PULL AN ALL-NIGHTER — Go read this book.

3 STARS: IT WAS GOOD! — An okay read. Didn’t love it. Didn’t hate it.

2 STARS: I MAY HAVE LIKED A FEW THINGS —Lacking in some areas: writing, characterisation, and/or problematic plot lines.

1 STAR: NOT MY CUP OF TEA —Lots of issues with this book

 


I’d love to hear what you think of this review. Thanks for stopping by 🙂

 

For anyone interested, here are the Amazon links …

 

UK … https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B08R8XRTB2/

US …At the time of writing this review post, no Amazon US page is showing for this book.

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Roberta Eaton Cheadle

HI Harmony, I think if I was going to travel this sort of reading road, I would want the book to be really outstanding as compensation for the reading trauma.

Jacquie Biggar

It’s a great cover but i think this would be too dark a read for me.

Jacqui Murray

I’m not into dark, and I do tire of books with a blurb about ‘not the only one with secrets’. Excellent review, though, Harmony. Kudos to you!

Diana Peach

It sounds like a read that could use trigger warnings, Harmony. I don’t mind dark tales at all, but this sounds a bit heavy for me too. Thanks for your honest review.

Marcia Meara

I find at least 95% of my reading these days is fantasy. I need to escape from real world issues, and this book sounds like it checks many of the squares for those. Not my cup of tea at the best of times, no matter how well written, and surely not something I want to read today. I’d rather my heroes have mythical fantasy problems to overcome.

I really appreciate your thoughts on this one, Harmony, as I can tell it’s not for me

Mae Clair

The subject matter and the dark and heavy is definitely not for me. I’ll give this one a pass. Thanks for the insightful review, Harmony.

Sarah Stuart

I’m beginning to wonder if it’s for anyone, Harmony.
Maybe Marcia hit the nail on the head with “not something I want to read today”.
Covid, now compounded by Putin”s abomination? Is it any wonder when we “switch of!” we want entertainment?

D.L. Finn, Author

Too bad it fell short in many areas, Harmony.

Sarah Stuart

An interesting review, Harmony.
I shall pass on this one. Not because it’s dark, but I prefer a book to have a realistic end, and Gill Perdue has, literally, failed to provide one. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist “literally” – I recently gave a book 3 stars, and one reason was the constant use of “OK?”:)

Staci Troilo

I’m not in an emotional place where I can handle the dark and heavy at the moment. That, combined with the other issues, make this one a pass for me. But I appreciate you sharing the good and the bad, and I wish the author well. Thanks for your candid review.

Priscilla Bettis

Hmm, interesting. I think the character of Jenny intrigues me so much that I’d read the book because of her, but the “literally” thing bugs me in real life, so I think it might bug me while reading a book.

Gwen Plano

Thank you, Harmony, for sharing your review. It sounds a bit heavy for me right now. These days, I tend to read lighter stories. 🌞

john howell

Thanks for sharing your views on this book, Harmony