Her name is Teresa Ann Gravatt and she is seven years old: She has a mirror through which she can see into another world.
There were two reasons I picked this up at the shop. First of all I recognised the name Christopher Priest from the film The Prestige and second of all I quite liked the cover. Why a slightly blurry photo of a man pointing a gun at me appealed I’m not sure, but it did. Reading the blurb I wasn’t too sure. Virtual reality and police procedures didn’t grab my interest, so I opened the first few pages and took a quick skim. That made up my mind.
This is such a readable book. Too readable and too enjoyable considering that the main character Teresa Simmons uses Virtual Reality in order to relive shoot-outs and crimes scenes as part of her work with the FBI. This means that there is plenty of violence and just as much death.
After Teresa’s husband, also an FBI agent, was murdered she leaves the US and returns to England. Her father was a soldier stationed in England. Her mother was English, but Teresa grew up either on US army bases or in the states itself. She isn’t English, yet somehow she has a huge sense of homecoming. But a holiday isn’t the reason for her visit. She has spotted some similarities between her husband’s death and a mass shooting in the small town of Bulverton in England and wants to investigate.
The story flows in a wonderful manner; I was never ever bored or tempted to skim on ahead. The only problem I have with this novel is the ending. And that is probably because I’m just not sure what to make of it. Taken one way it could be perfect, but read differently and it may fall flat on its face. An ambiguity that doesn’t really detract from the rest of the book. At least not for me.
If you get the chance you should take a look at this. I know I’ll be picking up more by Priest
Death brings innocence to the dead. Whatever Jason Michael Hartland’s failings in life had been – loutish behaviour, drunkenness, naivety, running away – death wiped clean the slate and made the dead as children once again.