I wasn’t alive when the awful things that happened with Myra Hindley on the moors, it is something that I have always grown up knowing of and not being interested in but wondering what happened exactly. This book deals with the events after Myra Hindley’s death and is based around the night when she is put in the morgue. However don’t expect that this is a novel about what happened on the moors or that you are going to get a gritty dark and disturbing tale even though the ghost of Myra does turn up further along the tale. Oh hang on he never mentions her name, which is odd as she has been put on the cover of the book. I do hate it when book covers and blurbs are misleading, it can actually completely put me off a book.
So the premise of the novel is that PC Billy Tyler is called to look after the dead body of a ‘famous female child killer’ in November 2002 which pretty much says what a name wont, and the female in question has the exact looks of the murderess that cannot be named, what a coincidence. It sounds like I am slagging the book off and I am not as in other ways it is accomplished and well written.
PC Billy is not a hero of the novel, there isn’t one. What you have is a man in a difficult marriage who has secrets from his childhood that haunt him and make him the man he is today, these secrets are also linked to the woman in the morgue and her ghost comes to haunt him during the long night as do his childhood memories he has been trying to hide. There is a very surreal feel to this novel no characters are the lead character and they don’t seem to communicate to one another other than the occasional short sharp five line conversation. There is also the ghost herself not quite the novel you expect it to be but gripping none the less.
Yes I picked up the book because the cover led me to believe it was going to be something else. What I didn’t get was a dark crime novel that I expected, instead I got a novel that looks at how a killer can effect a generation of children, why they might do what they do and what leads them to it and the aftermath it leaves. Fascinating and very well written.