Published by Orbit on 5th April 2016
Genres: Fiction, Paranormal
Jess Moulson is convicted of murder. But it's a murder she can't remember committing.
Nothing is quite clear from the drug-fuelled night when a blaze set in her apartment killed the little boy upstairs. But when the media brands Jess a child killer, she starts to believe it herself.
Now she's on her way to Fellside, the biggest, most formidable women's prison in Europe, standing in the bleak Yorkshire moors.
But Jess won't be alone in her prison cell. Lurking in the shadows is an unexpected visitor... the ghost of the ten-year-old boy she killed. He says he needs her help - and he won't take no for an answer.
Well, this was incredibly disappointing.
After the absolutely astonishing book that was The Girl With All The Gifts, I expected something just as amazing from M.R. Carey the second time round. Sadly, it was not to be.
I wouldn’t call this horror, not in the same way that The Girl With All The Gifts was. It’s more paranormal, but it’s also just very odd. Jess Moulson finds herself in prison after a fire, a fire that she apparently caused whilst high. When Jess finds out what happened during the fire, she decides the best thing to do is to end her life, and goes on hunger strike. She is teetering on the very edge of life and death when she suddenly starts to hear voices and see visions, a figure from her past that might hold all the answers.
To be honest, I think my main issue with this book was Jess. She was just a bit of a limp character, and there didn’t seem to be much to her. I also found the whole explanation for Jess’s visions to be a bit of a let down. I’m not sure what I was expecting, but with the way that the book was going I had started to suspect the reason behind them (it is very difficult to write about this book with giving anything away to be honest, which is why this review is so short!), regardless it was still disappointing and almost felt as though the involvement of Jess’s case was entirely pointless. And if, like me, you’re more interested in prison dramas after Orange is the New Black – this ain’t that.
As with The Girl With All The Gifts, Carey’s writing is excellent. It was just the story that did not work for me this time – it wasn’t even creepy like the blurb claimed. I will still read his next book with the hope that it will live up to the first, but I feel sadly disappointed by Fellside.