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Saturday, 8 October 2011
The Hanging Shed
by Gordon Ferris
What is it that makes us pick up a book? A good review we’ve seen perhaps? A beautiful cover that promises so much? A blurb that pulls us straight in? Perhaps it’s a combination of those things.
I read a lot but that doesn’t mean I’m not picky. I saw great reviews for The Hanging Shed but it didn’t appeal to me. The setting, post WWII Glasgow, didn’t grab me and I thought the story of a man summoned to his home town to get his friend off a murder charge would be somewhat clichéd and predictable. I continued to see rave reviews, however, and when I saw that the Kindle release was topping the rankings, outselling Steig Larson, I finally had to see what all the fuss was about. I’m so glad I bought this book.
The Hanging Shed opens with Douglas Brodie, ex-policeman, ex-soldier and now a reporter, reluctantly travelling home to Glasgow to visit his old childhood friend, a man who has been disfigured during the war and who waits to be sentenced to death for the murder and rape of his girlfriend’s son.
This book is anything but predictable. The compelling narrative, with its brooding undercurrents, keeps you turning the pages. The sense of place is so strong that it’s almost possible to smell the Glasgow pubs and the fish suppers.
There were several times when I thought I’d guessed what had happened or was about to happen, but then I’d turn the page and discover I was way off the mark. The story kept me intrigued right up to the very last page. It had me thinking about the characters for a long time after that.
As I said, I’m picky about the books I read. I’m so glad I didn’t miss this gem from Gordon Ferris.
Reviewed by Shirley Wells
You can find out more about Shirley on her blog here and her website here, and you can read my review of her book fabulous current book 'Dead Silent' here.
You can buy 'Dead Silent' here.