Book Review – Odd Child Out by Gilly Macmillan

odd child outHow well do you know the people you love…?

Best friends Noah Sandler and Abdi Mahad have always been inseparable.  But when Noah is found floating unconscious in Bristol’s Feeder Canal, Abdi can’t–or won’t–tell anyone what happened.

Just back from a mandatory leave following his last case, Detective Jim Clemo is now assigned to look into this unfortunate accident.  But tragedy strikes and what looked like the simple case of a prank gone wrong soon ignites into a public battle.  Noah is British.  Abdi is a Somali refugee.   And social tensions have been rising rapidly in Bristol.  Against this background of fear and fury two families fight for their sons and for the truth.  Neither of them know how far they will have to go, what demons they will have to face, what pain they will have to suffer.

***

gold_star-svggold_star-svggold_star-svg 3/5 Stars

I was given this copy by the publishers, via Net Galley, in exchange for an honest review.

I hadn’t read the first Detective Clemo story, which luckily didn’t matter when getting into this gloriously complex crime book. It’s different to a lot I have read – largely because it’s not about a gruesome murder! It’s not a thriller or your standard crime fare. It’s a bit slow to be fair, and I felt it was a little overwritten in places, but the themes were really well done. Just the right amount of intrigue, sentiment and facts. The story of the boys worked for me – even if Noah wasn’t particularly likeable it was hard not to have sympathy for him.

I think the story is good and I’d recommend it to someone who wanted to try something a bit different but I would also say that it does suffer slightly from being two stories in one. Noah’s story is largely unaffected by Abdi’s (though the opposite is not true) and is really only muddled by it. Whereas Abdi and his family’s story was really the more interesting and intriguing, it really only served to muddle the waters of what happened to Noah, and I’m not sure I like that particular aspect of how the story was told.

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