Friday 9 December 2016

Rattle by Fiona Cummins @FionaAnnCummins @FrancescaPear @panmacmillan

A serial killer to chill your bones
A psychopath more frightening than Hannibal Lecter.
He has planned well. He leads two lives. In one he's just like anyone else. But in the other he is the caretaker of his family's macabre museum.
Now the time has come to add to his collection. He is ready to feed his obsession, and he is on the hunt.
Jakey Frith and Clara Foyle have something in common. They have what he needs.
What begins is a terrifying cat-and-mouse game between the sinister collector, Jakey's father and Etta Fitzroy, a troubled detective investigating a spate of abductions.
Set in London's Blackheath, Rattle by Fiona Cummins explores the seam of darkness that runs through us all; the struggle between light and shadow, redemption and revenge.
It is a glimpse into the mind of a sinister psychopath. And it's also a story about not giving up hope when it seems that all hope is already lost.

Rattle by Fiona Cummins is published by Pan Macmillan in hardback on 26 January 2017 and is the author's debut novel.

Rattle is terrifying! Pan Macmillan took a huge risk when they included the line "A psychopath more sinister than Hannibal Lecter" on the marketing material for this book. The Silence of the Lambs is the ONLY book that has ever given me nightmares, I was dubious if any character could be more sinister than Lecter.  Oh my goodness, there is now!  Fiona Cummins has created an incredible character, the Bone Collector is evil to the core. Put him up against Hannibal Lecter and I really think he'd win the fight.

Not only is Rattle a chilling, gripping and heart-pounding story, it's exquisitely written too. There are some of the most beautiful descriptions in this story, and some of the most rounded and creatively drawn characters that I've come across for a very long time.

Lead character, Etta Fitzroy has been an absolute joy to discover. Worn-down, sometimes irrational, always emotionally involved in the case she is working on and with a crumbling personal life, she's the star of the story. Etta was on a missing-child case a year ago, the little girl was never found and Etta continues to think about her every day. When another small girl disappears, Etta is determined that this time she will be successful.

Fiona Cummins is an incredibly talented author, she takes her readers by the hand and pushes them forcefully, right into the middle of her story. We are allowed into the mind of not just the police who are investigating, but the children who are missing and their parents, and last, but really really not least, we are privy to the thoughts of the Bone Collector himself. This structuring of the novel works wonderfully well and adds layers to what is already an excellently thought out plot.
Not only does this author present an intriguing, quite horrific story-line that is dark and chilling, she also draws characters who leap from the page. The descriptive prose is exquisite and the use of such beautiful, lyrical words to describe such horrific acts is both clever and startling.

Running through the story are themes of revenge and redemption, but it's also about fear and how it can change lives. Fiona Cummins explores how a chronic illness can impact on everyone who is in contact with the sufferer and how that fear can alter other emotions such as the ability to love, or to grieve, or to forgive.

I could go on and on and on about Rattle, in fact I've been telling everyone that I meet that they have to buy this just as soon as it is published.
I have no doubt that Rattle is going to be a massive best seller for Fiona Cummins, and thoroughly deserves to be.
An absolutely top-class thriller. It's polished, confident and very very clever. I loved it!

My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review.

Fiona Cummins is an award-winning former Daily Mirror showbusiness journalist and a graduate of the Faber Academy course.
She lives in Essex with her family.
Rattle is her first novel.

Follow her on Twitter @FionaAnnCummins


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