STILL LIFE By Joe Donnelly – Reviewed

Ooh, this feels like a long book. It’s not really that long, but you kinda know what’s going to happen from quiet early on.

Martin Thorton is a reporter, an award winning reporter, who is following up his most famous story. A story about a nurse who was shot during a domestic dispute. A beautiful nurse who fell over the balcony where she was shot and landed awkwardly and broke her back. A nurse called Caitlin who is paralysed from the waist down, that is until she meets Sheila Garvie, the local herbalist.

Murders, secret rituals, poison, missing persons, disappearing bodies, and trees and plants that attack people.

Because we know what’s happening, it’s just a matter of waiting to see how long it will take our protagonist to work it out. And that takes a while, quite a long while.

But the story is entertaining, and Donnelly imbues his villains with a subtle evil that gradually comes out. How we get to the logical conclusion is actually the most important part of the book, and it serves its purpose, it’s entertaining enough, and Donnelly writes well enough to keep you reading.

It’s not as exciting as Donnelly’s other novels, and the story is a lot weaker. If you haven’t read any of his novels then The Shee is probably the best, and Stone is well worth reading. I don’t remember Bane, so I probably haven’t read it.

Fun, entertaining, and a rare treat of tree horror. But nothing really special, and not the best that Donnelly has to offer.

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