Book Review: The Unforgotten by Laura Powell

Book - The UnforgottenThe plot of The Unforgotten twists and turns, keeping the reader gripped until the very end. I read it in two days, and I would certainly recommend that if you’re going to start reading it, you clear your diary first. It begins in 1956 with a series of horrific murders in the small Cornish seaside village of St Steele. Betty Broadbent, aged fifteen, has left school and now helps her eccentric mother to run a boarding house. She is shocked and scared by the murders, but feels sorry for Mr Forbes, the local butcher, whom everyone suspects.   

The London reporters arrive in droves, bringing with them a buzz of excitement. Betty must do all she can to keep the boarding house running smoothly, whilst her mother, suffering from unrequited love, becomes unsteady and morose.

Betty is captivated by the mysterious reporter, Mr Gallagher, who also seems to be interested in her. Despite the difference in ages, their unusual friendship grows, until Betty sees something she would rather not have seen at all, and is forced to make a choice, in order to protect the one she loves. The story continues fifty years later, as the man who was convicted for the murders decides to speak out at last, and we discover what really happened all those years ago.

This is not a typical murder mystery, but a moving narrative with vivid, memorable characters. Betty will stay with me, I am sure, for a long time to come. The past and present are expertly woven together, and the book is packed full of suspense. Beneath all this, their lies a tragic story of loss, love and remorse.

The author, Laura Powell, will be talking about her book at Cardiff Book Talk on 6th March. The Unforgotten is published by Freight Books.

Declaration: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher.

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