When I attended a Quercus book evening last October (see here) I was thrilled when I got my hands on an early copy of Jo Spain’s Six Wicked Reasons and am delighted to share my review with Linda’s Book Bag readers today as part of the blog tour celebrating the publication of the book. My enormous thanks to Milly Reid at Quercus for inviting me to participate.
Released by Quercus on 16th January 2020, Six Wicked Reasons is available for pre-order here.
Six Wicked Reasons
It’s June 2008 and twenty-one-year-old Adam Lattimer vanishes, presumed dead. The strain of his disappearance breaks his already fragile family.
Ten years later, with his mother deceased and siblings scattered across the globe, Adam turns up unannounced at the family home. His siblings return reluctantly to Spanish Cove, but Adam’s reappearance poses more questions than answers. The past is a tangled web of deceit.
And, as tension builds, it’s apparent somebody has planned murderous revenge for the events of ten years ago.
My Review of Six Wicked Reasons
A dysfunctional family at its most extreme!
Six Wicked Reasons is a brilliant read. I loved Jo Spain’s clever plotting that ranges over years and settings from the Irish Spanish Cove to New York because she entangles the reader into the narrative until they are as complicit in the action as any of the characters. Whilst I’m not normally a fan of multiple viewpoints and different time frames I really, thoroughly, enjoyed them here as they weave together so perfectly. I finished the book feeling I had been completely captivated.
My brain was reeling because every time I thought I had it all worked out, Jo Spain hit me broadside with something I simply hadn’t seen coming so that Six Wicked Reasons is wonderfully entertaining. Although I had my suspicions, I genuinely didn’t know for certain who had done what until the very last word. In fact, the writing is so cleverly constructed that I identified every single one of the characters as being the murderer at some point. Jo Spain’s short chapters and almost blase, yet powerful and shocking, chapter endings genuinely made me gasp aloud. I simply had to read on every time.
The Lattimer family is a gloriously dysfunctional family and so believable. I was totally convinced by the creation of the family members and I got to the point where I’d gladly have climbed into the book and murdered several of them myself. In fact, that’s one of the aspects of reading Six Wicked Reasons that I found so compelling. Murder is, quite simply, wrong. However, Jo Spain’s writing made me feel that not only was murder justifiable here, but that it was essential. She made me question my own morals as well as the morals and motives of her characters. That’s a powerful thing to do.
It’s hard to say too much about Six Wicked Reasons without giving away elements of the plot – even when it comes to commenting on characters, so I think it best to say that Six Wicked Reasons is a corker of a book. It’s fast paced. It’s exciting. It’s well written and satisfyingly resolved. In fact, In Six Wicked Reasons, Jo Spain presents the reader with everything they want from a murder thriller with real people at its heart. I loved it.
About Jo Spain
Jo Spain is a full-time writer and screenwriter. Her first novel, With Our Blessing, was one of seven books shortlisted in the Richard and Judy Search for a Bestseller competition and her first psychological thriller, The Confession, was a number one bestseller in Ireland. Jo co-wrote the ground-breaking RTE television series Taken Down, which first broadcast in Ireland in 2018. She’s now working on multiple European television projects. Jo lives in Dublin with her husband and their four young children.