1966. A horrifying crime at a secondary school, with devastating consequences for all involved.
2008. A life-changing gift, if only the recipient can work out why . . .
Bearing the scars of a recent divorce – and the splatters of two young children – Ellen Sutherland is up to her elbows in professional and personal stress. When she’s invited to travel all the way out to Cheltenham to hear the content of an old woman’s will, she can barely be bothered to make the journey.
But when she arrives, the news is astounding. Eudora Nash has left Ellen a beautiful cottage, worth an amount of money that could turn her life around. There’s just one problem – Ellen has never even heard of Eudora Nash.
Her curiosity piqued, Ellen and her friend Kate travel to the West Country in search of answers. But they are not the only ones interested in the cottage, and Ellen little imagines how much she has to learn about her past . . .
The Hidden Legacy is a beautifully written, atmopsheric novel which addresses the way in which we view ‘children who kill’ and the way that one moment can affect the rest of your life, and your family. It centers around Ellen, a single mother of two who finds out, one day out of the blue, that she has a large inheritance from an old lady she never knew. The narrative also switches to tell the story of John Michael Adams, who as a young boy kills two girls at his school. As the novell continues we learn more and more about how their stories intertwine…
I’ve read a few novels that have a similar premise recently, and found I really enjoy this kind of subject matter. They make you think a little outside of the box; you really think of the way the media portrays (and usually hounds) these child offenders for the rest of their lives, and the fact that, because these people and their families often assume new identities, they could be living amongst us without us knowing!
Graham Minett’s writing is amazing; he is very descriptive, including details that don’t always seem to contiribute anything in particular to the story, which I understand some readers might find irritating, but I really liked the expressive and flowing way he writes. Another aspect that makes this novel a little different is the fact that it is devoid of any unnecessary drama; there’s no ridiculously overdone crescendo, but it didn’t need it – I was hooked nevertheless!
Minett has created a real atmsophere throughout this novel, with all sorts of questionable characters, twists and turns to keep the reader on their toes. Therefore I would really recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys a well-written mystery with a difference.
[My Rating: 5/5]
The Hidden Legacy is released in the UK on November 5th.
** Many thanks to the publisher for providing a copy of this book in return for an honest review **