Four point five stars.
The Unravelling is a dark mystery/ thriller set in England. It opens with a churchyard scene, and then drops back to two different periods of time for Karen Rothwell, one when Karen is an adult and the other set in 1966 when she was a ten year old schoolchild.
Adult Karen is a mess, on medication and regularly under a psychologist. She is assigned a health worker monitor her bouts of depression, her eating habits and her distractions which cause trouble at work. Karen suffers from memory loss, she has blocked out a traumatic childhood experience for years. She escapes into books where she can be the heroine and lives their lives rather than her own.
On a cold bleak January day an apple from a broken shopping bag rolls away down a drain, as Karen scrabbles after it a lost jigsaw piece of memory slots into place and the locked memories begin to slowly unravel. Karen hides away at home, sketching faces as wisps of her memory return and raise more questions.
We are taken back to ten year old Karen and her love and admiration for Serena Winn, the most popular girl at school. The one who attracted friends like bees to honey, the angel of the playground. Serena could do no wrong and her friendship was a gift closely guarded by her loyal bullies. Yet Serena showed Karen kindness, where others shunned her.
Adult Karen believed that Serena held the key to her lost memories and so she searched for her, what she found was a shocking truth, with secrets and guilt hidden away. Her one strength was her determination to get right to the very bottom of what happened on that fatal day in 1966 which would affect her for the next thirty-five years.
Thorne Moore knows how to build up a tale with layers of tension for the reader to unpeel, this was a pleasure to read.
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