When I Was Ten by Fiona Cummins – Review – First Monday Crime.

About The Book

Twenty-one years ago, Dr Richard Carter and his wife Pamela were killed in what has become the most infamous double murder of the modern age.

Their ten year-old daughter – nicknamed the Angel of Death – spent eight years in a children’s secure unit and is living quietly under an assumed name with a family of her own.

Now, on the anniversary of the trial, a documentary team has tracked down her older sister, compelling her to break two decades of silence.

Her explosive interview sparks national headlines and journalist Brinley Booth, a childhood friend of the Carter sisters, is tasked with covering the news story.

For the first time, the three women are forced to confront what really happened that night – with devastating consequences for them all.

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. Despite having all of Fiona Cummins novels When I Was Ten is the first that I have read. I found it to be a book that instantly started my recovery from a slight reading slump. I didn’t want to put it down.

There are two narrators, Catherine Allen who is trying to keep her family together and a journalist Brinley Booth. Both have a connection that is revealed throughout the novel. The level of tension started almost immediately, the lightening strike and the fear of what had been seen by such a young child. And I have to admit the death of Catherine Allen wasn’t what I expected it to be until I read further but it did make a lot of sense once I understood what had happened.

It was Part Two of this novel which had the biggest impact on me. For most of it I felt extremely uneasy, a few times I had goosebumps and I could swear that the hairs went up on the back of my neck. The cruelty that the two sisters experienced was horrific, more so because no outsiders were aware of the perpetrators true character. 

Another of the parts of the novel that stood out for me was the way journalists were portrayed. Most of the time, in fiction and real life, they are shown as people who have no morals and will do anything to get a story. Whilst that is shown, as you would expect, there was also evidence of editors and journalists attempting to approach with caution and respect. 

Fiona Cummins will be appearing on the First Monday Crime event on Monday 24th May alongside Laura Shepherd Robinson, B. A. Paris and Mel McGrath. Moderator will be Jake Kerridge. This is an extra event this month and can be seen via their Facebook page at 7.30pm.

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