It’s just a normal morning for Anna McDonald. Gym kits, packed lunches, getting everyone up and ready. Until she opens the front door to her best friend, Estelle. Anna turns to see her own husband at the top of the stairs, suitcase in hand. They’re leaving together and they’re taking Anna’s two daughters with them.
Left alone in the big, dark house, Anna can’t think, she can’t take it in. With her safe, predictable world shattered, she distracts herself with a story: a true-crime podcast. There’s a sunken yacht in the Mediterranean, multiple murders and a hint of power and corruption. Then Anna realises she knew one of the victims in another life. She is convinced she knows what happened. Her past, so carefully hidden until now, will no longer stay silent.
This is a murder she can’t ignore, and she throws herself into investigating the case. But little does she know, her past and present lives are about to collide, sending everything she has worked so hard to achieve into freefall.
Conviction was absolutely riveting from the very first page – a vibrant, edgy and brilliantly done character voice, this is a layered tale that sucks you into it’s mysteries then throws you out the other side feeling like you’ve been through the wringer right beside Anna.
Using a podcast as an anchor to mystery storytelling is popular at the moment but I’ve not seen it used in quite this way before – those portions of the plot are fascinatingly immersive (yes I know) a sunken ship haunted by a ghost and the mention of a name that starts Anna’s journey back through a past she hoped she’d left behind. But you can never really leave some things because they never leave you.
It’s a page turner, crime fiction on a higher level, I won’t give too much plot away, suffice to say it is twisty indeed with emotionally charged themes and a clever mystery at the heart of it that is unexpected at every turn. The characters live and breathe on the page, they will stay with you long after you are done.
Conviction as a whole put me in mind of the Latin “Post Hoc, Ergo, Propter Hoc” – After, Therefore, Because of it – events and connections all underneath it all. I loved it because it challenged me, I really didn’t know where it was going to end up.
Absolutely highly recommended. Also before you think I’m cleverer than I am, the Latin came from an episode of the also brilliantly written “The West Wing” and has stayed with me long enough for me to apply it here.
Don’t miss this one.