I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Homes by J.B. Mylet
Published by Viper on May 26, 2022
Genres: Fiction, Mystery & Detective, Amateur Sleuth, Thrillers, Crime, Coming of Age, General, Suspense
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'As moving as it is gripping... I loved it' CHRIS BROOKMYRE'Utterly compelling' MARION TODD'Extraordinary' JAMES OSWALD
There were good people in The Homes. But there were also some very, very bad ones...
A thousand unwanted children live in The Homes, a village of orphans in the Scottish Lowlands on the outskirts of Glasgow. Lesley was six before she learned that most children live with their parents. Now Lesley is twelve, and she and her best friend Jonesy live in Cottage 5, Jonesy the irrepressible spirit to Lesley's quiet thoughtfulness.
Life is often cruel at The Homes, and suddenly it becomes much crueller. A child is found murdered. Then another. With the police unable to catch the killer, Lesley and Jonesy decide to take the matter into their own hands. But unwanted children are easy victims, and they are both in terrible danger...
Inspired by a true story, and introducing readers to the unforgettable voice of young orphan Lesley, The Homes is a moving and lyrical thriller, perfect for readers of Val McDermid, Chris Whitaker, Jane Casey and Denise Mina.
The Homes does exactly what it says on the tin – it’s a coming-of-age tale that will crack even the hardest of hearts.
A group of children’s homes set in the outskirts of Glasgow. It acts as a village of cared for children; they say it takes a village to raise a child, and in this case, it’s true. Each cottage has a set of houseparents and the children have as close to a normal upbringing as possible. The characters have had the worst starts in life but with love and discipline, they hope they can leave as well-rounded individuals.
After learning that The Homes was based on a true story my heart ached for these girls and boys. Lesley is a beautiful soul. Her passion for maths and for her friends comes out in her voice with crystal clear clarity. Never have I got a sense of a protagonist’s accent, her mannerisms, and her vigour for life. Her best friend, Morag (Jonsey) can only be described as a spitfire. She knows what she wants, and she chases it until it is within her grasp. As a duo they are unstoppable. When a girl ends up murdered on the grounds of The Homes, Lesley and Jonesy are determined to solve it.
Now as you can imagine two twelve-year-olds trying to solve a murder is highly unlikely, but with Lesley’s love of problem-solving and mathematical equations and Jonesy’s rabid dog tenacity will they get close to following the clues to the killer?
The author has done a magnificent job of tapping into the reader’s ability to associate with emotions. This is a highly emotive novel, and any potential readers need to be prepared for the onslaught of pain and longing that these children endure. The undertones of every word leave you feeling anxious, real edge-of-your-seat stuff.
The story is fast-paced and when it started to escalate, the darkness was rife. The creepiness oozes from the pages, imagine girls turning up dead in the one place you should be safe, will you be next? I began doubting characters, my own assumptions, and even the place.
Lesley fights to get to the bottom of the murders. She searches for evidence and motive oftentimes illegally. She knows she can find the killer with just a bit more information; she longs to solve it like a difficult maths equation. The author drip-feeds the reader information, and we understand why characters behave in the manner that they do.
M.J. Mylet cleverly builds an intense plot, it’s a maze and the reader tries to run through it to finally make it to the clearing and discover its secrets, but the author has created many misdirections before finally giving it up.
The Homes is a story told with honesty, emotion, and originality. One of the most moving novels with its surefootedness. It’s a formidable tale.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
J.B. Mylet was inspired to write The Homes based on the stories his mother told him about her childhood. She grew up in the infamous Quarrier’s Homes in Scotland in the 1960s, along with a thousand other orphaned or unwanted children, and did not realise that children were supposed to live with their parents until she was seven. He felt this was a story that needed to be told. He lives in London.