A book review, Never to be Ignored by H.A. Dawson.

She’s a good nurse disturbed by dark recurring dreams.

Then a new patient asks for her by name . . .

Shona does her utmost to placate her charge. From professional necessity nurses must be neutral, but Shona’s patient Carmen has entwined her inside a cage of emotions. Carmen wants her missing son. Are her actions warranted? How will this impact Shona? She’s an innocent victim. When will she realise?

My thoughts

This is the first of this author’s books that I’ve read, and I know it won’t be the last. To begin with, there’s a strong story, well researched for accuracy. It’s also based on a plausible scenario, realistically and sympathetically described. Because the narrative rings true, the way the story is fed to us is perfect to build suspense, revelation follow revelation as it progresses.

We start off with Oncology nurse Shona, her boyfriend Justin and a dying woman’s plea. But just how much of the woman’s story is true and how much of it might just be her manipulating Shona? And why would she try to involve her?  Once Shona has decided to help, she’s swept along, deeper and deeper into the world created by her patient. There are all sorts of possible explanations for the things that Shona finds. As the tension builds, we start to get hints of a bigger story, connecting all the players like a spider’s web. A very clever plot, frighteningly realistic as it plays out.

The well-drawn supporting cast adds to the tension, not everyone’s side of the argument is unambiguous, some of it might be useful in solving the mystery, some might not. Again, the plot is woven to ensure that we are as caught up in the different ways of looking at things as Shona is herself.

As far as I’m concerned, the mark of a good thriller is in the way the atmosphere is developed as the plot unfolds. It’s not always necessary to have frantic action to create a feeling of impending danger. Less can be more, look at Alfred Hitchcock, he very rarely showed anything graphic in progress, preferring to let you decide what was happening. That way you could make it as spine-tingling as your mind wanted it to be. If you can chill and shock without resorting to anything explicitly frightening, you’re doing well.

This book’s author has learnt that lesson and applied it perfectly, the style of the narrative gives your imagination free rein to empathise with Shona as she battles her emotions to make sense of it all. Everything speeds up as we progress; until you can’t turn the pages fast enough to get to the next twist.

A very worthy Five Stars. It’s also great to know that it’s the first in a series.

You can find it here

I’ll be back on Thursday with another Indie Showcase, see you then.


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