Hammers On Bone by Cassandra Khaw

I have tried to forget about this book for a number of months but it just keeps sticking in my mind and not for the right reasons.

My partner suggested to me that I should give it a read as it has very few pages but is also set in Croydon and it sounded like a fascinating plot so, in the search of a short read to keep me on the reading trail, I took it off the shelf. It did the opposite of helping me to stay on the reading trail and instead made me question what I was putting myself through as I seemed to be encountering bad book after bad book.

By Cassandra Khaw

Copyright of book cover belongs to Tor

There are certain stories where it makes sense for the author to speed through a plot as it can add to the intensity for the reader and show how quickly events are happening, at least in the eyes of the characters, but this is one of those situations where it just did not feel like it worked. So many different things, characters and areas could have been described in a lot more depth and for some of elements this would really have added to the plot and the ability to imagine the scene getting presented.

As somebody that lives in Croydon it posed further problems for me, and after much discussion with my partner, we struggled to place any roads and factories that would match the description when the walking route of the children from school was considered. It is something that most people would not pick up on but when you live in an area it is the sort of thing you question and when flaws are clearly present it becomes a frustration. All I ever want is for people to do their research on a location and try to stick with it or to come up with a made up place that is based on certain landmarks and characteristics of a particular place.

The story itself also seemed to miss out on a number of opportunities of providing links between different elements of the plot as it felt very juttery and by the end of the book there was still very little clarity and it provided a bit of a head mess. Not a head mess in a wow I have so many questions about life and this book has really made me think about everything in a new way but instead just a “what have I just read. Was there supposed to be some point in that story?”.

It was not even like the plot was a really deep mystery and very early on I realised what was going on. This did not have the same mystery and twists of turns of something like a Sherlock Holmes book and whilst that is clearly not what the author was going for it would still be enjoyable for there to be some element of questions running through the mind to try and figure out what is actually going on.

My partner really enjoyed the book and has gone on to read at least one other book by the author but it was just the strangest thing I have read in a long time and whilst it was short so did not take long to read still feels like a waste of my time and efforts. This is not something that I could recommend at all.

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