Sunday, July 22, 2018

Review: The Reservoir Tapes

The Reservoir Tapes The Reservoir Tapes by Jon McGregor
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When I read Reservoir 13 less than a year ago, it lingered with me for days. I couldn't shake the feeling that the book wasn't about what it purported to be about. It kept being pitched as a girl-disappearance, village-reacts story, but that wasn't it. It was about the place and its own secrets. The way time moves fast and slow depending how close you are to a tragedy or a mystery. The way each small person has their own stories that end up with more of the focus than someone else's drama. It was like the author aided the reader slowly backing away, leaving each place and person to their own story.

This collection of "prequel" stories, originally commissioned by and broadcast on BBC Radio 4, serves to simultaneously perpetuate this individual story theory and to fill in some of the gaps left by Reservoir 13. I would have loved to hear the original broadcast but reading them back to back allowed my brain to follow more threads through, I think. I'm reading between the lines a lot, as the detectives must have. Everything is fragmented because nobody has the whole story, and even the parts of the story they have, they don't necessarily understand the full meaning. I loved thinking and wondering about all of it again.

The publisher approached me to offer a complimentary copy for review, and I said yes, of course. It comes out in the USA on 7 August, 2018. Read Reservoir 13 first.

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