In five years of blogging and almost 2,500 posts I’ve almost never posted a reblog, but 2020 is an unusual year! I’m delighted to be helping Mark Tilbury with the relaunch of his book You Belong To Me by sharing my review for a second time.
You Belong To Me is out today, 10th November 2020 and is available for purchase here.
You Belong To Me
My Review of You Belong To Me
When school girl Cassie Rafferty goes missing it looks as if the past is going to catch up with the present.
Oh my goodness. I can’t honestly say I enjoyed Mark Tilbury’s You Belong To Me because it made me feel very disturbed and uncomfortable, but my goodness it’s a powerful read.
It’s tricky to say too much about the plot without spoiling the reading experience for others, but the three part structure works so well, especially with the theme of retribution and Keiran’s religious beliefs weaving through so that I kept thinking of the holy trinity and ethics in general. I found the middle section, dealing with the boys in the past, brutal and savage because of the realistic dialogue and the escalating violence of Calum. It was so effectively written that I had to keep giving myself a breather as I read to recover. I loved the way the narrative was resolved at the end.
What made me so disquieted about reading You Belong To Me was the way it made me question my own morality. Danny’s desire to outwit his evil brother Calum steps beyond what might be called acceptable behaviour, but I was with him all the way. I felt almost complicit in his actions and that didn’t make for an easy feeling. Mark Tilbury has an incredible knack of getting inside the very soul of a character, especially one like Calum, and making the reader understand them entirely. I found myself contemplating whether humans have the capacity to be born evil or whether Calum was simply incredibly ill. I’m not sure I know the answer even after reading You Belong To Me and I still don’t know if I would have gone along with Danny and the others.
As well as my helpless fascination with the character of Calum, I thought the four younger boys, Danny, Rob, Josh and Keiran were entirely realistic too. Their naive boasting, their bravado and the way in which they are affected by events seemed utterly believable and actually, terribly sad. Although I didn’t always like some of their language and attitudes, I have taught enough youngsters from challenging backgrounds to appreciate just how accurate a picture these parts of the narrative are.
You Belong To Me isn’t a book I will forget in a hurry and I’m beginning to find that this is characteristic of Mark Tilbury’s writing. He has the capacity to present the most barbarous actions utterly convincingly and to make the reader wonder ‘What if?’. I find this compelling and terrifying in equal measure. What a read!
About Mark Tilbury
Mark lives in a small village in the lovely county of Cumbria, although his books are set in Oxfordshire where he was born and raised.
After being widowed and raising his two daughters, Mark finally took the plunge and self-published two books on Amazon, The Revelation Room and The Eyes of the Accused.
He’s always had a keen interest in writing, and having had seven books published by an indie publisher, has decided to return to self publishing. After successfully publishing The Last One To See Her, A Prayer For The Broken followed in October 2020.
When he’s not writing, Mark can be found playing guitar, reading and walking.
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