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Chris High books reviewed

Front cover of the book 'Letters to my Daughter’s Killer'.Cath Staincliffe
Letters to my Daughter’s Killer

Constable & Robinson
July 17, 2014

Cath Staincliffe, with Letters to my Daughter’s Killer, has not only managed to surpass her own previously superb efforts, but in many ways those of her peers. Groundbreaking in terms of the novel’s atmosphere, Letters to my Daughter’s Killer is in turns deeply disturbing, emotive, poignant , affecting and, ultimately, filled with such hope it almost becomes an insight into human response.

Mother and grandmother Ruth Sutton lost her daughter in a brutal attack, in her own home, four years ago and the man found responsible is about to be told how Ruth really feels, through a series of letters sent to him in prison.

This is a no-holds-barred trip into the turmoil that must confront anybody – male or female – who has been placed in Ruth’s world, yet it is the subtlety of Cath Staincliffe’s prose that really paints the story’s picture. Nothing is over-stated, and the manner in which the author manages to hold the pace and tension of the work is astonishing.

Ruth naturally hates her daughter’s killer, yet it is the underlying rage at what has happened and how it has affected the lives of those around her – particularly those of her ex-husband and granddaughter – that truly shines.

Ruth is not, as might be imagined, self-consumed with hatred, but is instead something of a crusader searching for peace of mind, not only for herself but also for those others whose lives the terrible crime has changed forever.

Intense yet beautiful, Letters to my Daughter’s Killer is amongst the best novels to have been published so far this year and – as the snippet on the back suggests – readers should “brace themselves” for a jolt out of left field that will hold them transfixed throughout.

A truly, truly remarkable book in every way.

Chris High.


 


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“Writing gets me away for a while' from this world and into one where I, alone, can make or
break the rules as I see fit.” - Chris High 2003.
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