Introducing Standedge Tunnel: the longest canal tunnel in England.
Last year six students went in, and two and a half hours later, the boat reappeared on the other side with only one of the students, unconscious, and the dog.
The case of the Standedge Six was largely kept from the national media. The police investigation concluded that the only remaining student, Matthew, killed his friends, hid the bodies on the boat and returned later to move them to an undisclosed location.
Matthew is in prison . . . but maintains he is innocent.
Robert Ferringham is grieving for his missing wife, Sam. So when Matthew contacts him for help with his case, promising information on Sam, Robert has no choice but to help. But can he trust Matthew?
And how will he solve the insolvable case?
Now You See Me by Chris McGeorge Review
Hooked from the First Page
It seems that every single book I read is described as a ‘page-turner’, ‘unputdownable’ , few deserve the accolade, and fewer still hook me so well that I complete it in one sitting. I’m happy to report that this book was an exception.
As I write this, yesterday was Father’s Day, and with my wife out of the country, I begged my kids to let me sit in the sun and read. A day of marvellous peace and quiet, with the excuse that since it’s ‘my’ day, I can do as I please! If I’m completely honest, I wasn’t actually supposed to read this book, the editor ran out of time and so threw it at me with one day to go. I’m glad she did.
The synopsis itself had me intrigued, which is once more unusual, as they’re usually packed with accolades, and people clearly better read than me lauding the genius. For this book, you only need to know “six people went in, only one came out”. They’re talking about a canal boat, going through the country’s longest tunnel, and I was fascinated.
We are introduced to Robin, an author, who had written about the disappearance of his wife. We are thrown right into the story from the very first chapter, and we have the childlike wonderment of a story told like an infinity mirror – we are both inside and outside of the story from the very first words.
The main character is wonderfully crafted as a grieving, never-give-up-hope widow who simply will not accept that he’s a widow and we wander through all of his emotions as he throws himself into a story that is not his own, or so we think…
Robin receives a phone-call from Matthew, currently awaiting trial for the disappearance of his five very best friends, demanding his innocence and urging Robin to help him. In exchange, Robin will get tantalising details about the disappearance of his own wife. For Robin, this gives him both hope, and as a journalist turned author, the necessary intrigue and distraction he craves to sideline his own grief.
In the last third of the book we start to time-hop, and at first I started to become very disappointed as many of the twists started to be wrapped up. Like the rest of the book though, we quickly learn that this is to leap-frog us through the rest of the story to get us to the final twists and it starts to make sense quickly why the author Chris McGeorge has done this. This is my only criticism of the book, the initial time-hop felt too abrupt, but after my initial disappointment, I quickly see why it had to be done, and it makes perfect sense.
The setting is a real town, and the spirit of the community is captured brilliantly. The characters are incredibly strong and we are drawn into the story of every single one. I have to admit that half way through I thought I had guessed one of the main plot points, and although I got it vaguely right (watch out for the group dynamic, it’s critical), I was still shocked by the final turns and it was a book that kept me guessing until the very last page.
A highly recommended, genuine one-sitting-book, and a very well deserved five stars.
Many thanks to Tracy Fenton at Compulsive Readers and Orion Books for inviting us on this blog tour.
Published by: Orion