I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for The Lonely Witness by William Boyle, which is published in the UK today by No Exit Press.
Source: Review Copy
Amy was once a party girl, but now she lives a lonely life. Helping the house-bound to receive communion on Gravesend neighbourhood of Brooklyn, she knows the community well.
When a local woman goes missing, Amy senses something isn’t right. Tailing the woman’s suspicious son, she winds her way through Brooklyn’s streets. But before she can act, he is dead.
Captivated by the crime she’s witnessed and the murderer himself, Amy doesn’t call the cops. Instead, she collects the weapon from the sidewalk and soon finds herself on the trail of a killer.
The Lonely Witness by William Boyle quickly turns into an immersive page-turner. It is quite different to many crime novels I have read this year, and I think this will make it memorable in the minds of many readers. This was a novel which did take me by surprise. I loved William’s writing which has a strong sense of place, and I could visualise the city of Brooklyn, where the novel is set, really well, it did make me feel as though I was there, in the bars, and in the rougher areas of the city . The atmosphere in William’s writing grows more sinister as the plot moves forward. This, for me, shows all the hallmarks of a very gifted storyteller. William Boyle’s protagonist, Amy, is a complex character, and she is a brilliant lead to follow. I could never be sure of her true personality and this was what made her fascinating and perplexing.
Amy is a model citizen, she is a member of her local Church, and helps the community by taking communion to people who are less able to get to Church on a Sunday. One lady who she frequently visits is Mrs Epifanio, who has recently been receiving visits from the son of a woman who often comes round to sit with her. However the woman is not keen on the woman’s son and Amy sets about trying to find out what his game is. But Amy soon witnesses a terrifying crime and she becomes involved in a dangerous sequence of events that she will find very difficult to get out of. What is even more shocking is that she takes away evidence from the crime scene which could help the police to put the killer behind bars, and in doing so, she is unwittingly implicating herself.
It was really interesting to see how Amy’s character changes as the plot moves forward, particularly when people from her past start to come back into her life, after she has spent a long time away from them. As she becomes more involved in the dark happenings of her neighbourhood, we see snippets of the person she once was, before she became a Eucharistic Minister. We learn she was once a party girl, and spent most of her time hanging out in bars, drinking heavily. So what drove her to religion? We also meet her former partner, Alessandra, who is working as an actress, very different from the world that Amy now inhibits.
If you enjoy novels with a strong sense of place, which have utterly engaging characters with complex lives, and who will pull you in from the first page, then I highly recommend it. I’ll certainly be looking out to see what William Boyle writes next. Thank you to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part in the blog tour and to No Exit Press for the advance review copy.
Publisher: No Exit Press
Publication date: 25th October 2018
Print length: 256 pages
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