Title: The Savage Hour
Author: Elaine Proctor
Page Count/Review Word Count: 376
Disclaimer: While I aim to be unbiased, I received a copy of this for free to review.
You know how when you look at the back cover of a book and they sometimes have those short, one-line reviews? Mine for this book would be, “The 21st century’s South African To Kill a Mockingbird“, which is a bit of a bugger because Harper Lee has a new book coming out. All I can say is, she’s got a lot of competition.
What’s interesting here, though, is that it crosses genres so fluidly – it’s like a murder mystery in some ways, and like The Fault in Our Stars in others. The author also uses dialect terms and foreign languages so fluidly that it just feels natural, and you don’t really need the mini-dictionary at the back of the book to understand what people are getting at. In fact, I was seriously impressed by the overall quality of the writing – it was just solid, evocative prose, and what else do you need?
In terms of the plot, I don’t want to give too much away, but I think I can safely say that we’re looking at a story about an elderly woman who’s found drowned, and the ensuing investigation into what really happened. Alas, things are rarely that simple, and that’s kind of the beauty of it here – there are so many little forks to the story line, so many little nuances, that it’s simultaneously a complex and simple read.
And then there’s the way that it makes you question things, too. And here’s where we come back to To Kill a Mockingbird – to be honest, as much as I loved that novel, and as much as racism is still a problem, I’m neither a racist nor a victim of racism. But here, Proctor deals with alzheimer’s and dementia, which could potentially affect us all, especially when you consider how short our attention spans are already becoming. For me, that made the whole book more relatable.
So should you buy it? Hell yes, you should – you’ve got nothing to lose and a lot to gain. Go do it!