On my blog today, I’m sharing my thoughts today on Damage by Caitlin Wahrer.
Sometimes, the true story is the hardest to believe.
TONY has always looked out for his younger brother, Nick. So when Nick is badly hurt and it looks like he was the victim of sexual assault, Tony’s anger flares.
JULIA is alarmed by her husband Tony’s obsession with Nick’s case. She’s always known Tony has a temper. But does she really know what he’s capable of?
NICK went out for a drink. After that, everything’s a blank. When he woke up he found himself in a world of confusion and pain, and the man who hurt him doesn’t deny doing it. But he says the whole thing was consensual.
Three ordinary people; one life-shattering event. And when the police get involved, this family in crisis might be capable of anything . . .
Damage by Caitlin Wahrer is a stunning debut novel which examines the effects a terrible crime can have on the victim; their close friends and relatives. It is very well done and I thought it was very fresh.
We meet Nick, who suffers a brutal assault when he is raped after a night out. This is a subject which I haven’t seen portrayed before in crime fiction. What has happened to Nick, hits his brother, Ray, particularly hard. Caitlin Wahrer explores their emotions and their thoughts so well and we really get inside her character’s heads. Caitlin Wahrer also explores how this type of crime is portrayed in the media and how it is viewed by members of the public. It also makes for very tense reading as we have no idea if Nick’s attacker will be caught, or if he’ll come after Nick again.
The emotions come through very strongly on the page. I could feel the pain that Nick was going through and Ray’s anger. It made for tense reading as I wondered what on earth Ray was going to do. Would he just leave things for the police to deal with? I had no idea how he was going to react.
Peering into the minds of the victim and the family following the ordeal the victim has gone through is what made this book feel very fresh for me. I’m very interested in what happens in the aftermath of a police investigation and I think this is what really engaged me the most here. It’s a novel which also explores the question ‘how far would you go to protect your family?’
The writing was very addictive and, although there isn’t a lot of action in the book, I flew through it. I was utterly engaged in the lives of the characters on the page and I had to know what was going to happen to them. Caitlin Wahrer is an expert at bringing her characters to life through their unique voices and I thought this was exceptionally well done.
Damage is an utterly engaging novel and it is also a very powerful read. It’s a book which I’m sure will stay with many readers for a long time to come. I’m certain I’ll be looking out for what Caitlin Wahrer writes next.
Publisher: Michael Joseph
Publication date: 8th July 2021
Print length: 400 pages
Damage is available to buy: