Tuesday 1 December 2015

Review ~ Definitions by Clare Coombes

March  2015
Bennion Kearny

Gina Ellison goes missing and her disappearance leaves a whole trail of unanswered questions that no-one, other than her sister Charley, seem to me taking notice off, as everyone just assumes that Gina has just taken herself off somewhere. Gina's life is far from simple and her penchant for getting in with the wrong sort of people is about to lead the book in a very sinister direction.

Throughout the novel, there is much to be discovered, and the author succeeds in accomplishing a complicated plot with assurance and skill. The mystery at the heart of the plot is handled well, and the alternate chapters, which give us an insight into Charley's search, whilst at the same time unraveling Gina's complicated life, is done in a realistic and it must be said, quite a chilling way. 

It was interesting to have the book set in Liverpool, this is a city I know well, so to have places mentioned that I recognise,gave the book, for me, a truly authentic feel. The story is dialogue rich and if you have an ear for the vernacular then, the rich vowels of true 'scouse' come across quite strongly, and I was able to recognise speech idioms and characteristics that are  quite familiar.

There is an underlying theme to the story, ultimately it's about family and the secrets we sometimes keep from one another, it's about violence and shocking exploitation, and it's also about loss, the loss of hope, the loss of self worth but also about the loss of those we care about. I thought the ending of the book was poignant and concluded the story really well.

This is an accomplished debut novel from a talented new author who, I am sure will continue to go from strength to strength.

Best read with... a tall glass of lager and a plate of piping hot Lobscouse....

About the author

Find Clare on her website
Follow her on Twitter @coombes_clare

You can find a lovely interview with Clare here....



  1. Sounds good - what's Lobscouse??

    1. Hi Jan - Lobscouse is a hotpot made with potatoes, vegetables and either lamb or beef. In my part of Lancashire we call this Lobbies...whilst 20 miles away in Liverpool it's called 'Scouse'....

  2. I like the sound of this book and it has a fabulous cover too. Another for my TBR list! And maybe an inspiration to visit Liverpool :-)

    Stephanie Jane


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