Bellman & Black
Length Of Time In Possession : 2 weeks
In this follow up to 'The Thirteenth Tale' Diane Setterfield writes another spooky story set in the Victorian era.
We are introduced to William Bellman - the happy child of a single mother who grows up to be well liked and successful.
But, when William Bellman was 10 he created the perfect catapult and accidentally killed a rook with a well aimed shot. As we learn William's story the narrative is interspersed with prose about the intelligence and behaviour of rooks. William may have pushed his childhood transgression out of mind but the rooks have not forgotten as soon he will learn.....
The intriguing thing about Bellman & Black is that William and those around him attribute their bad fortune to the way of the world, preventable deaths for example were common of the age. The reader however is in on the secret, the idea that something more sinister that is unbeknownst to the characters is actually in play here.
The novel does have its problems, events become slightly repetitive in both of its halves, yet the prose itself is continuously engaging and you stick with it.
There is something genuinely unsettling about the proposed notion that a mistake that you make as a child and do not recall can literally have repercussions across your life through unseen forces that you can chase but never quite grasp...
It's an interesting novel, worth reading and has an original concept. It is not entirely perfect in its execution however.
Verdict : 8/10
Destination : ebook storage