Black Mirror, Nancy Werlin

I must be getting old.  I could swear I read about this on somebody’s book blog – again!  Just like A Map of Home!  But apparently I didn’t because I just pulled up all of them on my blogroll and did searches and couldn’t find this damn book.  So I am forced to conclude that I did what I sometimes do, which is search the library catalogue for a book that I did read about – in this case, Nancy Werlin’s Impossible, which Superfastreader said was good – and when I find they don’t have it in, I get another book by the same author.  As a compromise.

I started reading this last night, just for a little while before I went to bed, and ended up staying up until one in the morning to finish it.  It’s all about a girl called Frances whose brother Daniel has recently committed suicide.  She is trying to get involved with a service group called Unity, which is paying for her school scholarship and with which Daniel was very deeply involved.  The group isn’t very welcoming – particularly Daniel’s old girlfriend, Saskia – but Frances feels she owes it to Daniel.  However, things with Unity are not quite right.  Actually quite, quite wrong, and Frances wants to find out why.

This paragraph will contain enormous spoilers.  Frankly I do not tend to like books where people’s family members commit  suicide.  When I started the book, I thought I would probably read it for a little while, find it upsetting, and toss it out of bed.  But – and again I say unto ye, embrace the doctrine of reading the end first – I read the end after a few pages, and ascertained that Daniel didn’t actually kill himself but was murdered by his girlfriend who was working to bring down Unity because it was a big drug scam; and after that I was okay to read the rest of the book.

It was interesting and absorbing and creepy – a bit like the better ones of Margaret Haddix’s books, which I read years and years ago.  In that I enjoyed it a lot, and I stayed up late to finish it, but I don’t feel like I’ll need to read it ever again.

  • After reading your post, I google-imaged the title of the novel and author and found that I had actually read the book myself. I remember the cover page very clearly and the bits about the mystery around her brother’s death but that’s about it. As I recall, it definitely was a page-turner, but after all these years, I barely remembered what it was about.