It was a real pleasure to be sent a set of Adam Hamdy’s The Other Side of Night to share with the U3A reading group to which I belong. My enormous thanks to the team at Pan Macmillan for sending them to us. They arrived in time for our July meeting when, in a change from our usual morning meeting, we went out for afternoon tea.
Not everyone has told me their thoughts yet, but there has been a range of comments from those who thought The Other Side of Night was wonderful to others who found it challenging because it doesn’t readily fit an identifiable genre. Sadly I was away on holiday for the last two meetings so it will be October before I hear everyone’s opinions. Today, however, I’m delighted to share my review.
The Other Side of Night is published by Pan Macmillan today 15th September 2022 and is available for pre-order through the links here.
The Other Side of Night
David Asha wants to tell you a story about three people:
Elliott Asha, his son, broken by a loss that will redeem him.
Ben Elmys, a surrogate father and David’s trusted friend, a man who might also be a murderer.
Harriet Kealty, a retired detective searching for answers to three mysterious deaths, while also investigating a man who might turn out to be the love of her life.
Every word David tells you is true, but you will think it fiction . . .
My Review of The Other Side of Night
David has a tale to tell.
I have no idea what I’ve just read. The Other Side of Night does not readily fit any specific genre, being part romance, part literary fiction, part mystery, part police procedural and part sci-fi. I think it’s one of those books that would reward multiple readings so that the full impact of meaning can be explored. The clues for this narrative are threaded throughout but the reader doesn’t know to look for them so that The Other Side of Night feels mysterious and incredibly thought provoking. As soon as I’d finished it, I immediately wanted to read it again because I found it very beguiling.
It’s impossible to say too much about the plot for fear of spoilers, and the reader needs to be immersed in the story fully to appreciate it because it has surprises throughout. At the risk of sounding bonkers, it felt to me as if The Other Side of Night was rather like a sliced loaf of bread. It doesn’t matter which slice you take, it’s still part of the same loaf but each slice is distinct! In my limited knowledge The Other Side of Night put me in mind of string theory, being equally mysterious and tricky to define and it is impossible to guess the outcomes, making for a very intriguing read.
I found the characters intense and almost claustrophobic. The cast is relatively small, creating an edgy atmosphere that I found quite disturbing. I didn’t warm to Harri and yet I was desperate to know how her story ended. I found Ben completely compelling, unsure if he was insane, murderous, innocent, maligned or a complete genius. He captivated me completely.
Interesting characters and compelling narrative aside, however, it is the themes of The Other Side of Night that make it such an affecting read. Adam Hamdy explores grief and identity, truth and right, choice and consequences in an innovative and intelligent manner that leaves the reader educated and wondering just how they may behave in similar circumstances. The Other Side of Night is one of those books that reverberates in the reader’s consciousness long after the final page is read. Indeed, some of Adam Hamdy’s writing is so poetic and beautiful that it entrances as it disturbs.
The Other Side of Night is fascinating, thought-provoking and surprisingly emotional. I think it might divide readers, but it will certainly create a lasting impression and leave them thinking about their own lives with both increased understanding and bewilderment. I think you should read The Other Side of Night for yourself to see if you can articulate thoughts about it more coherently than I can! I thoroughly enjoyed it.
About Adam Hamdy
British author and screenwriter Adam Hamdy works with studios and production companies on both sides of the Atlantic. He is the author of Black 13, a Scott Pearce novel, and the Pendulum trilogy, an epic series of conspiracy thriller novels. James Patterson described Pendulum as ‘one of the best thrillers of the year’, and the novel was a finalist for the Glass Bell Award for contemporary fiction. Pendulum was chosen as book of the month by Goldsboro Books and was selected for BBC Radio 2 Book Club. Prior to embarking on his writing career, Adam was a strategy consultant and advised global businesses in the medical systems, robotics, technology and financial services sectors.