Happy publication day to Robin Morgan-Bentley. His debut novel, The Wreckage is released today and I’m delighted to be sharing my review as part of the blog tour. With thanks to Tracy Fenton from Compulsive Readers for inviting me to take part.
Things will never be the same again…
Ben is driving on the motorway, on his usual commute to the school where he works.
A day like any other, except for Adam, who in a last despairing act jumps in front of Ben’s car, and in killing himself, turns the teacher’s world upside down.
Wracked with guilt and desperate to clear his conscience, Ben develops a friendship with Alice, Adam’s widow, and her 7-year-old son Max.
But as he tries to escape the trauma of the wreckage, could Ben go too far in trying to make amends?
Gripping and sinister, The Wreckage is guaranteed to keep you up all night…
Robin Morgan-Bentley hits the ground running in his debut thriller, The Wreckage. We are thrown headfirst into a devastating scene as a man launches himself in front of a car on a motorway. A police investigation quickly proves that the man committed suicide, leaving his devastated family and the traumatised man who hit him behind. Robin Morgan-Bentley examines just how much trauma such an event can inflict on a person. And he does this very well with his character, Ben.
The Wreckage is an emotional, hard-hitting page-turner. You can see how much of an effect the man’s suicide has had on his family and particularly on the man who hit him, Ben. This comes through very strongly in Robin’s writing. You can really sense just how painful this is for Ben as he struggles to come to terms with the pain that he has inflicted on Alice and her son.
Ben forms an attachment to the man’s widow, Alice, and for a while, it appears that they may have developed a relationship united by grief. But all is not quite as it seems as Ben is very keen to become a permanent fixture in Alice’s and Max’s lives. Soon Ben’s concern for Alice and her son, Max turns to a dangerous point of obsession. And this frightens Alice. She quickly realises that she has to let Ben go, but Ben isn’t quite ready to forget about her.
Robin Morgan-Bentley’s writing is taut, and it keeps you turning the pages. As Ben grows closer to Alice and her son Robin keeps the tension simmering in the background. As I was reading, I felt that there wasn’t something quite right here. I could sense that the tension was going to fire right up, and this is what kept me reading.
The story is told both through Alice and Ben’s point of views. I had mixed feelings about Alice and Ben. In the first few chapters, I could see that Ben was quite vulnerable and that any decision taken too lightly on Alice’s part might be enough to tip him over the edge. I didn’t quite take to Alice until much later on; I think this was because she seemed to be quite eager to move on from her husband’s suicide. By the end, though, I was rooting for her. Once you get to the end you can certainly see why she decided to take some of the decisions that she did.
I don’t think I quite thought Ben as particularly dangerous as I was reading this book. But it was the simmering tension that was around him that made me feel concerned for Alice. It made me wonder who Ben really was and what his business was in getting involved in them.
Devastating truths that come later on in the book turn everything you thought you knew on its head.
Robin Morgan-Bentley kept me gripped by his writing. This idea really does make you think about the after effects of an incident and how chance happenings can have a big impact on the rest of your life. The Wreckage is a totally immersive read.
Publication date: 6th February 2020
Print length: 336 pages
If you would like to purchase The Wreckage, you can do so by clicking on one of the following links below.
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