Last summer I was lucky enough to read and review the stunning debut novel Found by Erin Kinsley. So when I was recently offered to read and review her new novel Innocent, I jumped at the chance.
Written in the same addictive emotional style as Found that also has distinct comparisons to the TV drama Broadchurch, this is a compelling read. It is a classic ‘who dunnit’; but with the narrative stark, the chapters short and succinct, the visceral dramatic tension is tangible.
Tristan Hart is a massive TV celebrity. Living life with his beautiful wife Izzy and three year old daughter in the idyllic country market town of Sterndale, Tristan appears to be well liked by everyone in the close-knit community. So why is he violently assaulted and left for dead at a local wedding?
On the surface the community rallies round to support Izzy but the town’s gossip mill is in overdrive. Straight away Erin Kinsley brilliantly puts the spotlight on individual characters in a claustrophobic manner. As a reader I was intrigued by the relationships and dynamics of the town’s residents and was desperate to know more. I loved that!
Juxtaposed with this is Izzy’s own uneasy discovery. This skillfully enhances the tension throughout the story. And then when the assault investigation turns into a murder investigation, the tension is heightened.
Another factor that I really enjoyed about this book is the portrayal of police procedure. Reflecting the narrative, it is a simple, stark portrayal that adds to the drama. The police and the town residents are shocked to discover who the murderer is. Personally I have to say I wasn’t shocked at all.
In the novel there is brief discussion about cerebral palsy. I think this is included to give one of the characters a back story with an emotional human element; yet it didn’t add anything to the story in my view. I have personal experience of cerebral palsy and I really struggled with how it is portrayed in the book. Personally I found this specific portrayal extremely misguided and quite upsetting.
Innocent was released on 20th August 2020. Thank you to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for inviting me to review and be part of the blog tour. To also read the reviews from my fellow book bloggers also on the blog tour, please see below.