Challenge 13 ~ “Reader’s choice.”
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Looking back at the cover again for the first time, I realised just how beautiful it is. At first it gave me a 1950s British feel, and I thought ‘maybe the murders take place in a forest’, but other than that it was just a cover. Until I’d read the story, and suddenly the man and the position of the girl makes sense, and it takes on a whole other level of beautiful.
The novel as a whole was beautiful as well, from Powell’s vivid descriptions to well-researched settings. As a mystery story it was not in the least bit predictable, and Powell paced the murders, discoveries and unravelling very well. On the whole, Powell’s characters were also well developed and relatable, although 2005-Betty seemed to slip slightly towards the end (which, as a whole, felt rather rushed and a little too convenient).
In my opinion, the greatest strength of the novel was Powell’s handling of the two timestreams, which at first made me hesitant, but turned out to be an incredibly useful plot device. Both 1955 and 2005 were incredibly realistic settings, and Powell showed great prowess in the presentation of the same characters at two vastly different stages in their lives. Different characters were also present in the two timelines, and yet it was easy to differentiate, gauge their relationships and observe their background developments as the novel progressed. What has been a poorly used tool in other novels became a true strength in The Unforgotten.
There is no experience or emotion in The Unforgotten that Powell fails to perfectly capture. Mystery novels are two a penny, especially those with a modern British history setting (take all the works of Agatha Christie, for example), but Powell’s work ranks strongly among all its counterparts. Strengthened by the excellent use of multiple timestreams, Powell presents a fresh novel in a highly saturated genre.
Recommended for fans of:
- All The Truth That’s In Me by Julie Berry
- The Vanishing of Katharina Linden by Helen Grant
- The Ice Cream Girls by Dorothy Koomson
N.B.: This ebook was received from Netgallery in return for a reflective and honest review.