What would you do if you were in a car with your young daughter and a young woman knocked on your window and asked for help? Would you risk letting her into your car? Or would you, as Faith Saunders did, ignore the plea even though the girl in question was soon joined by two men. The moral dilemmas posed by this novel present the reader with a superb premise and this promise is realised in the execution.
This is a story of how a single lie by omission can have devastating consequences. Faith kept quiet unaware that Maggie aged just four had seen everything, and when the truth comes out Faith doesn’t only have to explain to the police why she kept quiet but to her husband Nick.
The girl who asked Faith for help was found dead in a field and Detective Bryan Nil is convinced that the perpetrator is a serial killer but no-one else in Palm Beach police department is convinced, but as links are made to previous bodies and with the help of Maggie’s testimony a series of shocking events are revealed. When the media run with the story Faith’s guilt for not acting sooner is magnified. All The Little Pieces manages to recreate the way that the media follow the public; at first the murder of a girl who is a dancer in a gentleman’s club wouldn’t be newsworthy, but as soon as they realise that the witness is a four-year old girl the focus switches and it isn’t long before everyone Faith knows is making judgement on her decisions.
Jilliane Hoffman expertly avoids falling into clichés or stereotypes with a book that is much about the witness as the hunt for the perpetrator. It soon becomes apparent that Faith’s personal life was far from that she presented to the world before the drive that catastrophically changed her life. This is an unusual take on crime fiction, the witness usually serves their purpose by giving a statement so it was great to read a book which concentrates on a different perspective.
With a mixture of viewpoints including Faith, the perpetrator and DI Nils the reader gets to see the story from multiple angles. I particularly liked DI Nils who came across as a level-headed investigator determined to get to the bottom of the mystery but not unsympathetic to the woman who had delayed it.
At first the author felt the need to over-emphasise certain points by means of repetition which I always feel is unnecessary and slightly annoying especially as this book clocked in at just under 450 pages a few of which could easily have been discarded. I was pleased that this tendency lessened as the pace picked up and the author trusted her readers to remember the key bits of information.
This is a superb thriller, well-written with a great array of characters. The tension is there from the start but ratchets up to unbearable levels as the story progresses to its satisfying conclusion.
I want to say a big thank you to Lovereading UK who arranged for me to receive a copy of this book in return for my review. All The Little Pieces is due to be published on 4 June 2015.
I am currently reading Time of Death by Mark Billingham
The astonishing thirteenth Tom Thorne novel is a story of kidnapping, the tabloid press, and a frightening case of mistaken identity.
Tom Thorne is on holiday with his girlfriend DS Helen Weeks, when two girls are abducted in Helen’s home town. When a body is discovered and a man is arrested, Helen recognizes the suspect’s wife as an old school-friend and returns home for the first time in twenty-five years to lend her support. As his partner faces up to a past she has tried desperately to forget and a media storm engulfs the town, Thorne becomes convinced that, despite overwhelming evidence of his guilt, the police have got the wrong man. There is still an extremely clever and killer on the loose and a missing girl who Thorne believes might still be alive. Goodreads
I have recently finished reading All The Little Pieces by Jiliane Hoffman
You can read the blurb and opening paragraph in yesterday’s post, my review will follow soon
Next up is Falling the debut novel by Emma Kavanagh, I thoroughly enjoyed Hidden by this author and read good reviews about this when it was published last year.
A plane falls out of the sky. A woman is murdered. Four people all have something to hide.
Jim is a retired police officer, and worried father. His beloved daughter has disappeared and he knows something is wrong.
Tom has woken up to the news that his wife was on the plane and must break the news to their only son.
Cecilia had packed up and left her family. Now she has survived a tragedy, and sees no way out.
Freya is struggling to cope with the loss of her father. But as she delves into his past, she may not like what she finds. ‘Before the plane crash, after the plane crash, such a short amount of time for the world to turn on its head.’
Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, from Tuesday/First Chapter/Intros, hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea Every Tuesday, Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea posts the opening paragraph (sometime two) of a book she decided to read based on the opening. Feel free to grab the banner and play along.
My intro this week is from All The Little Pieces by Jilliane Hoffman
She could have stopped an awful crime. She could have saved a life. She tried to forget about it. But now, the truth is out.
The terrifying new psychological thriller from the bestselling author of Retribution and Pretty Little Things.
Faith Saunders is the perfect wife, mother and sister – loved and admired by all who know her. One night will change everything. As she drives home in the pouring rain, a dishevelled young woman appears out of nowhere, pleading for help. The isolated stretch of road is dark, and with her four-year-old daughter Maggie asleep in the backseat, Faith refuses to let the stranger in. What she sees next will haunt her forever. When the missing-person posters go up, Faith’s guilt consumes her. Then the girl’s body turns up, and her perfect life begins to unravel. Because it turns out Maggie wasn’t asleep that night and – unlike her mother – she’s not afraid to speak up. Maggie’s testimony leads to an arrest, but Faith is the only one who can identify a second man who was at the scene of the crime. She has one chance to convince a jury of what happened. If she fails, two murderers will go free – two men who have killed before and who will undoubtedly kill again. And they know exactly where to find Faith and her family… Goodreads
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First Chapter ~ First Paragraph ~ Intro
The rainy night air smelled toxic – burnt and bitter – like a house fire a day after being put out, its charred remains smouldering in puddles full of water and chemicals. The thick taste coated her throat. No matter if she spit or swallowed, there was no getting rid of it.
What do you think? Do you want to know more? Would you keep reading? Have you read Pretty Little Thing or Retribution? Please leave your thoughts and links in the comment box below