Today I am delighted to share my thoughts on The Other Side of Night by Adam Hamdy which is released today. Happy publication day Mr H. I am used to reading thrillers by this author, so I was very intrigued to read this book, somewhat of a departure from the usual high action stories. My thanks to publisher Macmillan for the advance copy. Here’s what it’s all about:
About the Book
Bestselling author Adam Hamdy returns with a story of soulmates torn apart by circumstance and three deaths that haunt the past, present and future. The Other Side of Night is a genre-defying book unlike any you’ve ever read and a spellbinding novel about love, sacrifice and endless possibilities.
David Asha wants to tell you a story about three people:
Elliott Asha, his son, broken by a loss that will redeem him.
Ben Elmys, a surrogate father and David’s trusted friend, a man who might also be a murderer.
Harriet Kealty, a retired detective searching for answers to three mysterious deaths, while also investigating a man who might turn out to be the love of her life.
Every word David tells you is true, but you will think it fiction . . .
I don’t know how to write this review. To say what I really want to say would risk spoilers, and in the context of this book, perhaps more than any other, that is a massive no no. It’s one of those genre defying novels that is made up of so many elements of so many genres – mystery, a touch of suspense, maybe a bit of sci-fi and a lot of speculative fiction – that it is really tough to pin-point what kind of audience this is suited for. Well it isn’t really – it’s meant for people who like character driven, mystery infused, beautiful literary fiction. Or people who just like a damned good story.
In simple terms this is the story of Elliot, a young boy who has lost both of his parents, and the people who come to shape and inform his life. Left in the care of his parent’s best friend, Ben, whilst not perfect, things are ticking along. Until one day they aren’t. That would be the day in which Harriet Kelly arrives in both of their lives making accusations that are set to irrevocably change all of their lives.
This book is part whodunnit and part didtheydunnnit, as it is never really clear whether or not there was anything suspicious behind the deaths of Elliot’s parents. There are clues, suggestions, events even that set Harriet, and us as readers, off on a long an twisting path, though none of us can tell from the outset how twisted this is going to be. The book initially reads like a simple family drama, one in which emotion is high on the agenda and in which you know that there is a certain amount of loss to be experienced. But to make that assertion is to belie the truth of what we are being told, a story which runs far deeper that initially appears.
I love how Adam Hamdy has developed the characters in this story, making me feel equal parts empathetic and also suspicious of each of them in turn. He really captures the emotions, the uncertainty and the duplicity of the situation, but imbues it with a kind of melancholy that is impossible to ignore. And the story itself is completely compelling. It felt like it should be a longer read, not featuring the breathtaking pace and adrenalin pumping action the author is known for, and yet I flew through the book. The story was packed with moments of quiet, moments of contemplation, but a narrative that absolutely drew me in and kept my attention to the very last page.
In spite of all I said about melancholy, and there is a kind of tragic inevitability about it all, there is also a strong vein of hope that flows throughout if you are just aware enough to spot it. Sometimes it is more apparent, those moments that will make the heart sing, but in other scenes it is just an undercurrent, a little spark in the corner of your peripheral vision, masked by the mystery and suspense that otherwise lead the charge.
This is a beautiful book, impossible to describe, but definitely worth reading. It was completely unexpected, but thoroughly enjoyed. I love Adam Hamdy’s action reads, no question, but this is another side to the author which shows clearly what a talented storyteller he really is. Totally recommended.
About the Author
British author and screenwriter Adam Hamdy works with studios and production companies on both sides of the Atlantic. He is the author of Black 13, a Scott Pearce novel, and the Pendulum trilogy, an epic series of conspiracy thriller novels. James Patterson described Pendulum as ‘one of the best thrillers of the year’, and the novel was a finalist for the Glass Bell Award for contemporary fiction. Pendulum was chosen as book of the month by Goldsboro Books and was selected for BBC Radio 2 Book Club. Prior to embarking on his writing career, Adam was a strategy consultant and advised global businesses in the medical systems, robotics, technology and financial services sectors.