Today’s team review is from Terry, she blogs here https://terrytylerbookreviews.blogspot.co.uk/
Terry has been reading Still You Sleep by Kate Vane
I chose this book from the review team list because I’d read another book, Brand New Friend, by this author and was most impressed by her characterisation. Although this is a crime novel – not my usual choice – it concentrates on those involved in the situation (families, friends), and the journalists looking into it, which is why I enjoyed it much more than I might have done had it been a police procedural.
Vikki Smith is a young woman with a learning disability who is found dead from a drug overdose. The police write it off as an accident but online journalist Tilda Green and redundant crime reporter Freddie Stone believe foul play to be afoot; Freddie knows the family and Tilda scours social media on a daily basis, discovering much that makes her suspicious.
The story is very ‘real life’, warts-and-all, and one aspect that I liked is how current it is, both sociologically and in the way in which Tilda delves into every intricacy of social media, though I did wonder if it would go over the heads of people who don’t know exactly how Twitter works, on quite a complicated level. I’m a Twitter addict, though, so I really appreciated how well the author understood its idiosyncrasies.
The characterisation, dialogue and the logistics of the plot deserve a round of applause, though I felt there were one or two many storylines and character points of view. Social media strategies, dysfunctional families, social prejudice, drug dealers and abuse, alcoholism, two-faced politicians, unrequited love, alt-right versus liberal politics; every scenario is written most convincingly, but I’d sometimes get to the beginning of a new chapter from yet another POV and think, ‘Hang on a minute, who’s Simon?’, and have to look back to remind myself. The addition of so many plot threads and characters actually dilutes the evidence of her strengths; Ms Vane is a highly competent and readable writer. Less could be so much more, but this is really the only complaint I have about this book.
Still You Sleep flows along so well, wrapping all storylines together at the end, is entertaining, real, so relevant to today’s world, and I’d definitely recommend it to anyone who appreciates well-drawn characters by a writer who has a sharp understanding of topical issues – or who simply enjoys working out mysteries.
Why wasn’t she safe at home?
Vikki Smith was a young woman with a learning disability, living independently for the first time, when she died of a drug overdose.
The police think it could have been an accident, but messages on social media suggest someone was exploiting her death for their own ends – before it was even announced. Her mother is convinced it was murder.
Redundant crime reporter Freddie Stone is a family friend. He wants to help them – and his failing career – but he’s a people person. He asks online journalist Tilda Green to work with him.
Tilda is curious, passionate and runs her own campaigning news site. She’s open to everything except compromise. But she’s intrigued by what Freddie tells her and agrees to work with him – for now.
Tilda thinks the trolls are organised and have links to hate groups. A charismatic local politician is determined to take them on. Some question his motives but Tilda trusts him, maybe too much.
Freddie believes the answer to Vikki’s death lies on the estate where she lived, if he could only get someone to speak out. He wants to know who was bringing drugs into Vikki’s home. He chases old contacts while struggling with his new life.
Beyond the virtual hate and her neighbours’ silence, someone knows who killed Vikki. Tilda and Freddie are determined to find the truth and tell her story.