Tuesday 13 June 2017

Review ~ The Boy Who Saw by Simon Toyne

Harper Collins
15 June 2017

The Boy Who Saw takes us into a dark and deeply troubled past. It exposes long buried secrets and uncovers painful memories which once exposed can never be the same again.

When Josef Engel, an elderly tailor, is found brutally murdered in the sleepy French town of Cordes-sur-Ciel, the investigation which follows opens up a complex chain of events which is made even more complicated by the arrival on the scene of an enigmatic stranger, who goes by the name of Solomon Creed. Creed is a multifaceted character, a man with unfathomable secrets, and when his own shadowy past becomes interwoven with that of Josef Engel’s granddaughter, their search for answers into Joseph’s death leads them into some very dark places.

This is the second book in the Solomon Creed series and once again the author has given us a fast and furious story which is filled with all the trademark complexities which are so characteristic of this author’s skilful writing. The multi-layered mystery at the heart of the novel intricately explores the rawness of dark secrets and highlights the ruthlessness of unscrupulous individuals who seek to destroy everything that is good. The clever intertwining of past and present is seamless; the recollection of the vicious treatment in the German internment camps during WW2, which is so integral to the story, is done with an explicitness which at times makes for difficult reading.

Solomon Creed, possessed of an immeasurable charm, is an enigmatic hero. Influenced by eidetic kinaesthesia he has the ability to swap, chameleon like, into any role he chooses. He is incredibly mesmeric, and with more questions about him than there are answers, he is constantly evolving as a character. That he dominates the story is without question, every page that he wasn’t in the story felt like something was missing and yet, this story is about so much more than this enigmatic hero. It’s about the rawness of deep dark secrets, the power of memory and the disintegration of values and beliefs.

Deeply disturbing in places, the story has an uncomfortable edginess which is made all the more powerful by its utter believability.

Best Read with.. Several large glasses of rustic French wine ...

About the Author

Photo Credit: Toby Madden

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My thanks to Lovereading.co.uk for the opportunity to read this book as part of the 

Lovereading Review Panel.

For more Lovereading reviews on The Boy Who Saw please click here 


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