Sam Hayes is already on my list of favourite authors, so although I was excited to get hold of an early copy of her latest book, I was nervous as to whether it would live up to expectations.
Thankfully it did. Sam’s books are probably best described as emotional thrillers – she says herself that she takes her characters and puts them in terrifying circumstances, and Someone Else’s Son certainly lives up to this.
Carrie Kent has built an extremely successful career hosting a morning chat show which puts people under the microscope, and under pressure. All the dysfunctional families she looks down on are on her show, as well as victims of crime. What she doesn’t expect though, is that instead of someone else, it becomes her experiencing tragedy.
Max and Dayna are two teenagers who don’t fit in. They live in a world of bullying and knife crime, and on Friday 29th April, Carrie’s world falls apart, as she’s informed her son, Max, has been stabbed, and is dead.
Throughout the course of the book, we are taken back and forth, experiencing life both before and after the stabbing. Max and Dayna’s relationship is explored, as well as the harsh world they live in. We also find out about the relationship Max’s parents had, and how it fell apart, as well as the lives they live now.
At the heart is the issue of the stabbing, how it happened, and who was involved. But surrounding this is the depth of the book – the various relationships and issues involved. It is a book of suspense, with the expected twists, but the key is the way Sam builds her characters. They are so believable, and I cared about each and every one by the end – which makes the suspense and thriller aspects mean more.
The first half of this book may be a little slower than thriller readers might expect, but it’s an important part as it allows Sam to introduce and explore her characters. It kept me reading because I wanted to know what would happen next, and by the end it was hard to put down.
Another highly recommended book from someone who remains on my favourite author list. 🙂
Someone Else’s Son is published by Headline
UK Hardback 14/10/10 Paperback 3/2/11
Connect with Sam at her blog – http://samhayes.blogspot.com/