Wednesday, 13 March 2013

The Invisible Ones by Stef Penney

I really loved her first book 'The Tenderness of Wolves'. A lovely story set in the wilderness of Canada in the mid 19th century. Her second book which I just ran into by chance (thank you very much) is called 'The Invisible Ones' and has a similar theme but a totally different setting. Both books are about people disappearing and the search for them. The new book is about private detective Ray Lovell. He is approached by an older man looking for his daughter Rose who disappeared 7 years ago. She married a man from another family, moved to them and was never heard of again. The man is of gypsy origin and Ray is half gypsy so that is why he is getting this assignment.

The story is told from two different points of view; from Ray's side and from JJ's side. JJ is a teenager boy from the family where Rose married into. The parallel stories covers more or less the same time frame and it is interesting to see how the two sides see things and are affected by the investigation. JJ's family is living on a small campsite by themselves. The are very special and do
not live with other families which is more common. The Great Uncle who is the head of the family is proud of the pure 'black blood' that runs in the family and is supposed to be the best. However, with any family who thinks themselves better than others also this family has secrets they don't want to reveal.

As the story continues Ray and JJ (he is a fan of Ray and his work) both tries to find out more on what the secrets of the family are. The more they find out the more confusing it gets and you think of various endings but when it comes it is one totally different from what you thought.

I read a review which said that the character of Ray was rather shallow and not so well characterised in the book. That is true in a way. You get a little bit of background from his upbringing with his father and the love for his wife (ex to be). It is seldom though that there is a male character which actually shows his emotions and insecurities when it comes to love and I think this is a rather nice change. His character, although not so thoroughly shaped, reminds me a little bit of Rob Ryan in Tana French's book 'In the Woods'.

All in all I loved the book and it is an easy read. I am already waiting for her 3rd book which is supposed to be a story in a historical setting.

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