About The Book
There’s more than one way to capture a life.
When Elspeth arrives at her ex-husband’s LA mansion for his 50th birthday party, she’s expecting a crowd for the British film director. Instead, there are just seven other guests and Richard’s pet octopus, Persephone, watching over them from her tank.
Come morning, Richard is dead.
In the weeks that follow, each of the guests come under suspicion: the school friend, the studio producer, the actress, the actor, the new boyfriend, the manager, the cinematographer and the ex-wife, Elspeth herself. As stories of Richard’s past surface, colliding with Elspeth’s memories of their marriage, she begins to question not just who killed Richard, but why these eight guests were invited, and what sort of man would want to trap this mysterious, intelligent creature.
From the LA hills to the Norfolk marshes, The Octopus is a stylish exploration of power: the power of memory, the power of perception, the power of one person over another.
With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. The Octopus was a novel that instantly appealed to me because it sounded so original. After all it’s not everyday you come across a novel where one of the suspects in a murder investigation is an octopus.
When Richard is murdered at his own party the only culprit could be one of the handful of guests, or the octopus which had the ability to escape from its aquarium at night. It does sound strangely believable. But the more I read, and started to realise what a vile character Richard was I was more inclined to believe that it was one of the guests. I just had no idea who.
Elspeth, ex wife and chief narrator was the only one I really liked. She was the one who had more reason than most to want him dead, but the one I suspected least. Only because of what she kept hidden to protect their daughter from the truth. What she went through was terrible and to be able to cope alone showed a lot of strength.
It was a little strange to read, even though there was only one narrator the story covers multiple periods of time and it switched from one to the other every few pages. It took me a while to adapt to this style but I became increasingly hooked. Especially after one of the characters was arrested and went to trial.
I am amazed that The Octopus is a debut novel, it is definitely one of the best novels I have read this year.