Thursday 28 February 2019

The Day of the Accident by Nuala Ellwood @NualaWrites @PenguinUKBooks #TheDayOfTheAccident

They say you killed...But What If They're Wrong?

Sixty seconds after she wakes from a coma, Maggie's world is torn apart

The police tell her that her daughter Elspeth is dead. That she drowned when the car Maggie had been driving plunged into the river. Maggie remembers nothing.

When Maggie begs to see her husband Sean, the police tell her that he has disappeared. He was last seen on the day of her daughter's funeral.

What really happened that day at the river?
Where is Maggie's husband?
And why can't she shake the suspicion that somewhere, somehow, her daughter is still alive?

The Day of the Accident by Nuala Ellwood was published in paperback by Penguin Books on 21 February 2019, and is the author's second novel. My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review.

I read and loved Nuala Ellwood's first novel; My Sister's Bones back in 2016, and have been looking forward to her next novel for a long time.

I do love a book that has me scratching my head in wonderment. A book that teases and twists around until you begin to feel a little bit dizzy. That's what happened when I was reading The Day Of The Accident. I found myself thinking about the story; trying to figure out just what was about to happen and sneaking in another chapter or two when I really should have been doing other things.

The book opens with a real banger of a prologue; set in Lewes Crown Court in August 2017. It's just a couple of pages long but those pages will grip the reader immediately, especially as the narrator pleads for forgiveness.

Part one of the story takes the reader back five weeks, to Lewes Victoria Hospital as Maggie is regaining consciousness after an accident.  Her world then shatters as everything she was, and everything she loved is snatched away when she's told that her young daughter Elspeth is dead, and her husband Sean has disappeared.

I really enjoyed how the author has structured this story. The reader gradually gets to know Maggie, but do we know everything? Her memory is patchy and as she slowly remembers vital things, we can't help but begin to pass judgement on her, and her actions. 

Woven in between Maggie's story are letters. The reader may be led to believe that these letter are written by one character, but who knows. The content of the letters is heartbreaking to read; the words of a desperate child, begging her mother to love her, and to save her. As the story progresses, the tone of the letter change; becoming angrier and darker as time moves on.

The Day of the Accident is a compelling story with an intriguing premise. It's a clever, chilling tale of suspicion, with surprises and twists that will knock the reader for six. It is tense, extremely well written and memorable. I couldn't put it down.

Nuala Ellwood was chosen as one of the Observer's 'New Faces of Fiction 2017' for her first thriller, the bestselling My Sister's Bones. 

Nuala teaches Creative Writing at York St John University and lives in the city with her young son. 

Day of the Accident is her latest novel.

Twitter : @NualaWrites

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