Set in the magnificent grounds of Oxford’s Worcester College, this compelling murder mystery fuses the eccentricities of academia with romance, reminiscence and cold-blooded revenge to create a truly chilling masterpiece. When ex-student Alex loses his wife to the hands of a brutal killer, he delves into his memories of university life in the hope of discovering the culprit, but simultaneously reveals Rachel’s sinister past that may have been best left alone.
This is a stunning debut, fast moving and intriguing throughout; the sort you daren’t put down for fear of forgetting any minute detail. The plot requires intense concentration, particularly due to the unreliable narrator, yet this further emphasises the central theme of the indiscernible boundary between reality and perception. As a reader, one feels completely inside Alex’s head, identifying, although not always agreeing, with his every thought and action. It is impossible to fully support any of the characters, even our protagonist, for they are all at least partially flawed; yet this allows them to appear remarkably human.
Perhaps not ideal for a lazy holiday read, but perfect for anyone seeking to be fully absorbed in a wealth of catharsis and ambiguity. Thoroughly enjoyable, I will certainly be on the lookout for any further work from Dymott.