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THE NIGHT FOLLOWING
by Morag Joss
Delacorte, February 2008
368 pages
$22.00
ISBN: 0385341180


Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

What would we give for the sense that today something awful was going to happen and we decided to stay in bed all day? Weíve all been there, asking why didnít I leave the house earlier (or later), why did I take that shortcut, why catch that particular train? The list is endless. This novel tells of a person whose day started like that and ended in a tragedy that changed several lives and ended one.

As she searches for something to clean up the seats in her husbandís car when her groceries spill, a woman finds proof of his infidelity. As she drives home she takes the back roads because she canít trust herself to drive safely. Suddenly someone appears from the hedge on the side of the road; before she can brake, she has collided with a woman on a bicycle.

She gets out of the car, the air is still and quiet, there are no cars, no people, just the noise of her car engine ticking over and the wheel of the bike which is still spinning. Rushing over, she sees papers scattered over the road. Without knowing why, she picks up the pages, goes back to her car and then leaves the scene.

The psychological drama that follows continues the path the author has taken from her first novels which featured cellist Sara Selkirk as an amateur sleuth along with an on again-off again relationship with a police detective. Since writing several standalone novels, Morag Joss has ventured into the Ruth Rendell territory of the complex psychological novel.

The authorís uses of letters written by one of the characters as well as the pages of an unfinished manuscript are an unusual, but effective, device for moving the plot along. In lesser hands this could have been problematic, but her writing skills bring it off beautifully. This is a very different, compelling book and one that will stay with the reader long after the book is closed.

Reviewed by Lorraine Gelly, January 2008

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)


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