The #Bookvent Calendar 2020 – Day 23

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#Bookvent – Celebrating my top reads of 2020

My day twenty-three #bookvent choice is by an author whose writing may be slightly genre-fluid, but who never fails to deliver a tale that is beautiful, lyrical and ultimately very heartfelt. take readers from one heart-wrenching and often challenging story to another, this latest offering was no exception. Examining a subject that is far too plausible in the world in which we live now, the author challenges readers on their understanding of not only what is happening but also how we determine guilt or innocence. With characters that I truly felt for despite all that they stood accused of, this book really did capture my attention. My twenty-third pick is …

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A Song of Isolation by Michael J. Malone

Film star Amelie Hart is the darling of the silver screen, appearing on the front pages of every newspaper. But at the peak of her fame she throws it all away for a regular guy with an ordinary job. The gossip columns are aghast: what happened to the woman who turned heads wherever she went?

Any hope the furore will die down are crushed when Amelie’s boyfriend Dave is arrested on charges of child sexual abuse. Dave strongly asserts his innocence, and when Amelie refuses to denounce him, the press witch hunt quickly turns into physical violence, and she has to flee the country.

While Dave is locked up with the most depraved men in the country and Amelie is hiding on the continent, Damaris, the victim at the centre of the story, is isolated – a child trying to make sense of an adult world.

Breathtakingly brutal, dark and immensely moving, A Song of Isolation looks beneath the magpie glimmer of celebrity to uncover a sinister world dominated by greed and lies, and the unfathomable destruction of innocent lives … in an instant.

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When you pick up a Michael J Malone book, although you know you are going to be served something slightly different each time, the one thing you are guaranteed of is that it will be a memorable, haunting, character drive read that has an almost lyrical beauty in the language and style. This was absolutely the case for A Song Of Isolation, a book which takes readers into a world where the lines of innocence and guilt are blurred and what is seen on the surface really is only the tip of the iceberg. I love that Michael J Malone always forces readers to question not only the characters but themselves and our own perceptions of situations. This book is truly topical, as most of the author’s books are, but examines the assertion of guilt following certain allegations, and the way in which justice can be shaped to fit a certain narrative no matter what the truth may be, especially in an age of social media and when faced with the court of public opinion. Another of the key things about a Michael J. Malone book is that is is always jam packed full of emotion, and he always manages to elicit a visceral reaction from me, especially so with this story. I don’t know why, but I was instantly drawn to the character of Dave from the off, trusting him over all of the evidence against him. We have all seen these kinds of cases in the press over recent years, and we have often been quick to judgement based on a one sided narrative from the media. But are we always right? In such a character driven narrative it is essential we had sympathy for the main player and the author achieved this within just a few pages, manipulating my emotions, as he has a knack of doing, and keeping me absolutely rapt from first page to last. This is yet another novel which makes you think long and hard about your perception of certain situations, and that challenges what you think you know, whilst enveloping up a very real and very believable story in layer upon layer of mystery, tension and emotion.

If you’d like to read my full review, you can find it here.

Happy #bookvent reading all

Jen

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