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Little Eve by Catriona Ward

A heart pounding literary thriller with a devastating twist.

I’m not sure what I thought I was getting into when beginning to read this book, and not even sure why, so it was probably a ‘recommended for you’ Kindle thing. Somehow the not-knowing made it more of an adventure, as I was gradually sucked in to a dark Gothic/Horror world of child sexual abuse and other abuses, both physical and mental. But, hey, isn’t this the nature of a cult? That’s definitely a rhetorical question, as I hope no-one reading this has ever belonged to one.
It’s always a bit annoying that the leader has to be a man and his victims women/girls, but to be fair, some of the latter do their bit to add to the general nastiness and the body count.

The writing is often lyrical in descriptions of place and space, and also quite prosaic and matter-of-fact in telling of various killings, maimings and punishments, not all carried out by ‘Uncle’. Oddly, some of the most shocking scenes are of ‘Uncle’ stuffing his face while his victims sit around him in a state of drugged near-starvation. It jumps about between time and place, but not in an annoying ‘oh why are you doing this?’ way: it just adds to the general miasma of ghastliness and helps build a feeling of dread (well it did for me).

I haven’t read anything else by this writer, and may never bother to, but, in an odd way, I really enjoyed it and was sorry when it ended. I suspect this may have as much to do with the standard of writing as anything, because I am invariably put off bothering to read a book if it suffers from little discernible talent in using words and putting them together. (If you ever feel the need to dive into a bottomless well of badly written drivel, I commend Barbara Cartland to you.)

Reviewed by a Library Member