Book review When I was Ten
Fiona Cummins’ When I Was Ten is a gripping crime novel that will keep readers on the edge of their seats from the first page to the last. The novel delves into a double murder case that occurred twenty-one years prior, where a ten-year-old girl named Sara Carter was labeled as the “Angel of Death” after allegedly killing her parents. The story follows Sara, who has since built a new life with her own family, but the past comes back to haunt her when a documentary about the case is filmed. The novel is divided into three parts and moves between the past and present, providing a detailed picture of events that led to the double murder.
Fiona Cummins’ writing style is dark and twisted, making the story a mystifying read that will perplex even the most seasoned crime fiction reader. The structure of the novel, with short and succinct chapters, adds to the unpredictability of the story. The first half of the book is a slow burn, setting the scene and introducing the characters, while the latter half of the book picks up pace, with violent twists and turns that keep readers guessing until the very end.
The characters in When I Was Ten are unstable and flawed, adding to the darkness and complexity of the story. Sara Carter, the alleged killer, is a sympathetic character, trying to move on from her past and build a new life. Shannon Carter, Sara’s sister, is a complex character, torn between loyalty to her sister and her own desire for the truth to come out. Brinley Booth, the journalist and childhood friend of the sisters, adds another essential layer to the story, providing a fresh perspective on the case.
One of the strengths of When I Was Ten is Fiona Cummins’ ability to switch between the first and third person perspective interchangeably. The shifts to the past are detailed and raw, providing a clear picture of the events that led up to the double murder. The shifts to the present, following the documentary crew and Brinley Booth, provide further substance to the tale at hand.
The novel tackles themes of trauma, recovery, confrontation, and consequences, making it a thought-provoking read. Fiona Cummins does an excellent job of portraying the psychological impact of the double murder on the characters and their families. The novel also delves into the ethics of journalism, raising questions about the responsibility of reporters when it comes to the lives of the people they report on.
Overall, When I Was Ten is a must-read for crime fiction fans. The unpredictable twists and turns of the story, the complex and flawed characters, and the thought-provoking themes make for an enthralling read. Fiona Cummins’ writing style is dark and twisted, adding to the mystique of the novel. When I Was Ten is a testament to Fiona Cummins’ skill as a writer and is sure to leave readers wanting more.