heart-stopping moments

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Caroline Bond earns a place in the top rank of novelists writing social drama. I love it when the story seems to have been inspired by a short newspaper report and the event and situation is then explored thoroughly, really thoroughly, from the varying perspectives of everyone involved. And, as in this story of a car crash, some lives are changed and some minds are changed.

As Jodi Picoult, the American doyenne of this genre, often does, Caroline Bond gradually uncovers a mystery (several in fact) so we change our ideas about some of the characters as we learn more. The story is firmly set in an English town, perhaps the writer's native Scarborough. The characters are also mostly recognisable types though not flat stereotypes. The dialogue is thoroughly believable, the pace very engaging and at times the emotions are painfully raw.

From the beginning, the emotions are a cascade of gritty punches, immediately reminding you of those heart-stopping moments of fear for your loved ones which are usually followed by a limb-weakening flood of relief as they are unrealised. And this litany of dread is made more close by the unremarkable location and the very real people affected. The reader is inevitably drawn into wondering what they themselves might do in the shoes of many of the characters.

As I've enjoyed all of Caroline Bonds novels I think I should declare myself a fan.