…by Joanne Harris.
Once there was a widow with three sons, and their names were Black, Brown and Blue. Black was the eldest; moody and aggressive. Brown was the middle child, timid and dull. But Blue was his mother’s favourite. And he was a murderer.
And so begins the journey. The story is mainly narrated by B.B. or Blueeyeddboy on his webjournal badguysrock.com. He writes what he refers to as fic (stories) which are generally about murders but also about his life with his mother and two brothers. His stories though, may just be more than fic. The individuals in the story are real and live around Malbry where our narrator lives. And died in manners eerily similar to what he posts. The question is, did B.B commit the crimes or not? After all, his stories are there for the world to see.
He receives comments from regulars, some of whom he knows in rea life. One of these is referred to as Albertine who is somehow embroiled in his past and now, his present. Who happened to be in a relationship with his now dead brother Nigel. B.B also talks about his childhood. And most importantly about their mother. Gloria Green. Who pummelled them and punched them and broke their bones if they did not do as she asked.
This was my very first book by the author. I found it interesting and yet, disturbing at the same time. While the concept seemed like an unusual one, there were parts when I was bored and other parts when I was just confused. There is a major twist three-quarters of the way through that I did not see coming but I had to re-read a couple of things as a result of it. Personally, I am not a fan of glorified murderers and reading the webjournal entries made me feel a tad sick. I didn’t think abuse was a reasonable justification. Also, I didn’t connect with most characters except perhaps when the boys were young and getting beaten up by their mum.
All in all, it is a decent mystery but not necessarily one to rave on about. It’s a whopping 500 odd pages and possibly could have been shorter. It hasn’t completely deterred me from reading other books by the author except I may borrow them rather than buy.
I give this book a rating of 3.
Until next time,