Miriam Black sees how people will die. All she needs is skin on skin contact and she’ll be blessed with an unpleasant vision of their final moments. We’re all going to die, that’s one thing that’s certain. Most die of disease or accidents, but when she hitches a ride with Louis, she is shocked to see his brutal murder. She doesn’t want to get involved, it is his fate after all and there’s nothing she can do to stop it. Yet, as their paths keep crossing, Miriam starts to like the trucker and she must brace herself for the inevitable.
Miriam is foul mouthed and has a couldn’t care less attitude on the outside. How else would she cope with the things she sees every day? Her visions aren’t toned down at all and coupled with the language, means this book is certainly not going to appeal to everyone. Whilst I became concerned it was going to be all swearing and violence, Miriam soon starts to connect with people. The characters may be instantly un-likeable but as you learn more about Miriam, you begin to soften towards her. I did feel that Frankie, Harriet and Ingersoll were slightly stereotypical villains, sadistic and power hungry yet there’s always one that doesn’t quite belong.
The book goes back and forth between the now, where Miriam meets Ashley and Louis (gives a new meaning to “love triangle”) on the road and an interview she gives with Paul, the nephew of a man whose death she once foretold. There are also a few jumps to first person narration by certain characters but this is brief and the chapter headings are clear to point out the who and the when for those who easily lose track. The structure never causes the plot to lose pace and it barrels along until you’re at the edge of your seat. There’s a vein of dark humour throughout but I wouldn’t say it made me laugh, except perhaps for Harriet’s story the first time round. It is one line and to the point.
There is a sequel due out later this year entitled Mockingbird and I can’t wait to find out what happens next. Obviously, I bought this for the extraordinarily wonderful, Joey HiFi cover. You should know me by now.
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