Publication Date: May 15th from Orenda
Source: Review Copy.
Lynn Naismith gave up the job she loved when she married Ed, the love of her life, but it was worth it for the happy years they enjoyed together. Now, ten years on, Ed has been diagnosed with early-onset dementia, and things start to happen; things more sinister than missing keys and lost words. As some memories are forgotten, others, long buried, begin to surface… and Lynn’s perfect world begins to crumble.
But is it Ed s mind playing tricks, or hers…?
I was lucky enough to read this one in it’s very early stages and it was excellent then, now reading the end result it is indeed even more excellent. It was lovely to start 2018 off with a 5* read – what I call “proper” domestic noir here, which is to say it is not a recycled plot, it has a unique vibe that makes it stand out and also a truly twisty yet believable tale with darkly engaging characters and a cleverly woven atmospheric narrative. Now all this time later I can tell you more about it.
Louise Voss has a beautiful tone and turn of phrase to her writing that makes it a right proper page turner, even without the absorbing and thought provoking story. I was riveted by how the mystery element was woven into the very realistic feeling of what it is like to live with someone who suffers from dementia – which had a personal meaning for me as I go through it with my mother. After a while that sense that it might be you who is going slightly doolally is so so authentic, as Lynn struggles to deal with Ed’s moods and differing mindset that changes almost by the minute. Then as it heads down an ever darker path, you cannot help but be dragged right into their world, where that sense of disconnection, that feeling that all is not right, starts to play on your mind and your senses.
The plotting is clever and often unexpected – some of it is heartbreaking – some of it is actually very creepy – but overall it is fascinating, wonderfully written and a little like car crash telly – you just cannot look away. With an ending that will stay with you and a genuinely memorable set of characters “The Old You” is a purely emotional read with a dark dark heart.
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