Wednesday, 4 June 2014

The Boy That Never Was by Karen Perry

18774350
Penguin Books UK

With the ebullience of youth, artists Harry and Robin immerse themselves in the colourful and decadent splendour of life in Tangier. When their baby Dillon is born he slots into their life with gratifying ease and yet, an overwhelming irresponsible act by Harry will have devastating consequences. In a momentary lapse of judgement, Harry leaves Dillon sleeping and unsupervised in their Tangier apartment during a devastating earthquake. When Harry returns home, both the building and Dillon are gone.

What then follows is a story about reparation and punishment as Harry seeks to atone for his reckless lapse of judgement and even as Robin tries to remain uncritical; her own culpability needs to be addressed. Returning back to their native Dublin, the couple seek to rebuild their lives, but however far they stray from the truth of that dreadful night in Tangier, Dillon remains in the shadowy recesses of both their minds. Harry’s refusal to believe that Dillon is dead is the driving force of this compelling story.

The story unfolds in alternate chapters and both Robin and Harry’s examination of what happened in Tangier makes for fascinating reading.  There are cracks and fissures in their seemingly stable marriage, and as the secrets and lies are gradually exposed, there really can be no hiding place for them.

The author does a really good job at keeping the tension both credible and tight, and as the mystery of what happened in Tangier gradually unfolds, the psychological damage inflicted remains a forceful part of the story.

I enjoyed it and look forward to more books by this author.

My thanks to Penguin Books UK and NetGalley for my copy of this book




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