Today it is my absolute pleasure, and mini hell, to be taking part in the blog tour for Will Carver’s latest dark and twisted thriller, Nothing Important Happened Today. Pleasure because I love supporting Orenda Books, hell because that is exactly where I am in trying to find the words to review the blinking book. My thanks (I think) to Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for inviting me to be a part of the tour and publisher Orenda Books, as always, for supplying me with more lovely bookety books.
About the Book
Nine suicidesAvailable from: Amazon | Waterstones | Kobo | Google Play | Apple Books
Nine people arrive one night on Chelsea Bridge. They’ve never met. But at the same time, they run, and leap to their deaths. Each of them received a letter in the post that morning, a pre-written suicide note, and a page containing only four words: Nothing important happened today.
That is how they knew they had been chosen to become a part of the People Of Choice: A mysterious suicide cult whose members have no knowledge of one another.
Thirty-two people on that train witness the event. Two of them will be next. By the morning, People Of Choice are appearing around the globe; it becomes a movement. A social media page that has lain dormant for four years suddenly has thousands of followers. The police are under pressure to find a link between the cult members, to locate a leader that does not seem to exist.
How do you stop a cult when nobody knows they are a member?
A shocking, mesmerisingly original and pitch-black thriller, Nothing Important Happened Today confirms Will Carver as one of the most extraordinary, exciting authors in crime fiction.
Okay. So. Here we go. Hardest review I have had to write in a long time. Why? Well let’s just pause a moment and re-read that blurb. I know. You are in a hurry to hear my (probably not very lucid) thoughts on the book, but this is important. You don’t need to read all of it. Just the beginning. First three lines should do you.
Have you read it? Good.
As you can probably guess, this book is not full of the warm and fuzzies. Not even just the fuzzies unless you have employed a very unusual way of adapting a slang term for the Police. Having read two of Will Carver’s books now, I’m fairly certain that ‘warm and fuzzy’ are not necessarily in his repertoire. So if you can’t have warm and fuzzy, then what do you get instead? A novel which can be summed up in just four words actually:
Dark. Twisted. Brutal. Genius.
And that is precisely where I get stuck as I’m not sure what more I can say about a book which has to be read to be understood. This is a very dark tale, one which some readers may find upsetting or perhaps even a tad offensive, if only for the very delicate and contentious subject matter.
Let’s look at the title – Nothing Important Happens Today. Okay. Maybe not. Unless of course, you are one of the nine people, by and large strangers, who decide that today is a good day to throw themselves off Chelsea Bridge and end their lives in a strange and incomprehensible suicide pact.
The chosen ones.
More importantly, the “People Of Choice“.
This is, for all intents and purposes, a book about a large (and I mean large) number of people who *choose* to commit suicide. Not the easiest of subjects to discuss on a good day and, for the chosen ones in this book, it turns out that their last day really isn’t a very good day at all. But don’t let the subject matter put you off, because this is more than just a tale of mass suicide. It is a very insightful, brutal and intense look into all that is going wrong in modern society, wrapped around a very unorthodox and highly unique serial killer thriller.
You think you understand all about cults and about some of the most iconic serial killers of recent times? Think again. Will Carver will force you to think about them in a whole new way, and I’m a touch worried he may have given this way too much thought … There are counsellors for that, although I’m not entirely sure I’d want to read the transcript of those meetings …
Anyhow, I digress. Back to the book. The state of Mr Carver’s mind aside, he has, as I stated earlier, created a work of genius here. Moving us seamlessly between the points of view of each of the victims and the person who may be coordinating, or masterminding, the whole pact, he creates a world that is equal parts shocking and emotionally draining, as well as relevant and a damning indictment of all that our new world is becoming. From the inconvenienced commuter who rolls their eyes as another inconsiderate suicide victim interrupts their daily routine, to the shocked by stander who is able to turn another’s pain into something which is all about them. Then there is the voyeur who will happily view the atrocity through the lens of their smartphone camera, while transmitting live on Face-plant (no pun intended there) in order to gain followers and fame, it really was a world I recognised, although one slightly (only very slightly) exaggerated for the purpose of feeding the story.
This was a book that had me hooked from the shocking opening to the slightly surprising but suitably kharmic ending. There are too many characters to really go into detail in a review, some faceless, all but a mere handful nameless too, but that was the point of the story. Their names were not important. They were not important. It wasn’t really about who they were but what they represented. Will Carver pulls no punches, the ending of each life painted in stark and graphic detail, the story of each character laid out in abundant colour so that they, and this book ,will take a long time to leave the reader’s mind.
Mine is a family which has been touched by suicide in the past. It’s not something you can, or should, take lightly and this book, as genius as it is, does not simply use suicide as a plot device, a glorification intended to shock. But shock it will, and if you are going to be easily offended, you may wish to walk away. If you can read the book with an open mind, see beyond the constraints and sensibilities that tell you suicide is undoubtedly bad and not intended for entertainment, you will see what an absolutely brilliant book this really is.
And you can bet I am giving it one of these. Not for the faint hearted, I’d say this is a Naga Chilli level Red Hot Read – if only because of the content that not everyone will be able to swallow.
About the Author
Will Carver is the international bestselling author of the January David series. He spent his early years in Germany, but returned to the UK at age eleven, when his sporting career took off. He turned down a professional rugby contract to study theatre and television at King Alfred’s, Winchester, where he set up a successful theatre company. He currently runs his own fitness and nutrition company, and lives in Reading with his two children. Good Samaritans was book of the year in Guardian, Daily Telegraph and Sunday Express, and hit number one on the ebook charts.
Author links: Twitter
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