This is between 3 and 4 stars rounded up simply because the author’s writing is awesome, and I so much adored their other works.
Fellside is a prison, where Jessica Moulson finds herself after discovering that in a heroin induced haze she lit a fire that killed her upstairs neighbour, a little boy the age of 10. However as she steps into the chaos that is Fellside Women’s Prison, she discovers Alex’s ghost waiting for her, wanting one last thing from her.
Three was nobody there, and nothing at all behind the bed. The space in which those footsteps had skipped up and down didn’t exist.
I don’t want to give too much away as Carey tends to have a number of twists you don’t see coming and part of the joy of reading Carey is discovering these as they gradually unfold.
However, the issue I had with this book is that the gradual unfolding was a bit TOO gradual. The first third of the book mainly has to do with Jess and how she ends up where she is, and just the sheer brutality of some of her fellow inmates.
She saw the women of Goodall from the inside, and from the inside they were all of them bowed down by the weight of what had befallen them. They were all on a catastrophe curve, sailing frictionlessly towards this precipice or that. It was little wonder that they were capable of brutality. What was amazing was that they ever managed to be kind to one another.
In addition to the slow start, many of the characters were very unlikable, although I found myself liking Jess as the book carried on. If I had one character to root for getting invested in the book would have been easier.
Rough edges were what you needed because they were what you sharpened yourself against. Nobody ever got sharp from lying in a feather bed.
I didn’t find myself completely hooked until probably about 70% through, where I was unable to put it down, but it wasn’t quite enough to completely make up for the slow start.
If you are looking for a scary horror, this book isn’t it, but the paranormal bits do keep it interesting, and the ending is one you will not see coming if you can get past the first half.