Jess Moulson is convicted of murder. But it's a murder she can't remember committing. Nothing is quite clear from the drug-fuelled night when a blaze set in Jess' apartment killed the little boy upstairs. But when the media brands her a child killer, she starts to believe it herself.
Now she's on her way to Fellside, the biggest, most formidable women's prison in Europe, standing in the bleak Yorkshire moors.
But Jess won't be alone in her prison cell. Lurking in the shadows is an unexpected visitor...the ghost of the 10-year-old boy she killed. He says he needs her help - and he won't take no for an answer.
©2016 M. R. Carey (P)2016 Hachette Audio
"Haunting, heartbreaking." (Vogue on The Girl with All the Gifts)
"As fresh as it is terrifying." (Joss Whedon on The Girl with All the Gifts)
"A masterpiece." (Sun on The Girl with All the Gifts)
"Scary, tense and fast-paced...but with a heart-warming tenderness." (Marie Claire on The Girl with All the Gifts)
"If you only read one novel this year, make sure it's this one, it's amazing." (Martina Cole on The Girl with All the Gifts)
Reviews for M. R. Carey: "Original, thrilling and powerful." (Guardian)
"Haunting, heartbreaking." (Vogue)
"A great read that takes hold of you and doesn´t let go." (John Ajvide Lindqvist, author of Let the Right One In)
"Genre-Hopping Mystery Drama"
With Fellside M R Carey has attempted something very ambitious. The story genre-hops considerably before settling very much into a paranormal mystery. Imagine Prison Break as a setting for Luke Smitherd’s Physics of the Dead with some meaty courtroom drama popping up along the way and then a full paranormal mystery drama emerging. The plot becomes much more subtle than it first appears which requires considerable scene setting before the momentum builds towards a quite gripping ending.
Given where the majority of the book is set it’s no surprise that the violence is hard and uncompromising. It’s made even starker by the fact that much of it involves women as either the perpetrators or victims or indeed both!
I don’t think everyone will be entirely convinced that the whole thing works. There did seem to be an incongruence between some facets of the story. The "fresh" innocence of the ghost did not feel genuinely convincing to me when set against the bleak backdrop of tough characters and their desperate plight. It didn’t quite sit right particularly through the middle of the book.
The acid test though was passed for me as I cared what happened to these characters, not just Jess, right up until the end. Throughout the book there are some powerful scenes but it’s the last third that really demands attention if you can accept the paranormal premises that are put forwards.
Finty Williams is a classy narrator and a good story teller. If she struggled with anything it was in not quite being able to carry the threat of the nastier of the characters with full conviction. Other than that she carries off a difficult task with a very enjoyable performance.
In summary this is a deep book which ambitiously attempts to cover multiple genres. I think it just about pulls it off and the plot contains a number of genuine and in some cases quite subtle surprises. The way it mixes the genres might be unsettling for some but I think it’s well worth investing in.
"Really good interesting book a must read"
I loved this book as well as the previous book by M.R. Carey. They are so different from any thing else I have listened to. If you like well written imaginative books this is for you.
I feel conflicted by this book and the need to review it.
What I enjoyed about the book: it was well written, the narration is good, and the idea is new(ish), or rather, it's a different take on the supernatural world of ghosts than I've previously read.
What I didn't enjoy: occasionally, the plot was a little tenuous or convenient for the author; it wasn't a very uplifting read/listen.
I was left feeling a little bit hollow by this book. Just like "Girl with all the Gifts", there is no happy ending where our heroine conquers all. But equally, with this story, what other ending could there be, and still be "realistic"? It's a brutal story, very little positive going on, and the imagery is stark.
Certainly, it was well written and narrated. And if you're a fan of MR Carey, and/or this genre, then it's worth a punt. I will probably buy the next MR Carey book too, but I'll be sure to have a good, uplifting, humour-filled story standing by to pick me up afterwards.....
"Inaccurate Court room scenes"
Overall very good but the Court room scenes made me cringe, they were so inaccurate. Surely even the manner of addressing appeal court judges could be right?
"Very Different, interesting twists"
I enjoyed the book, it was different to any paranormal stories I have read before, and there were interesting twists, but there was one important plot twist that I found so obvious that it annoyed me that the main character was taking so long to figure it out. Overall I did enjoy it and I found the villains adequately villainous and the heroes sufficiently flawed to keep things interesting.
The narrator did an excellent job as well. Thanks.
"Not sure about this one!"
I thoroughly enjoyed 'The girl with all the gifts' but this one wasn't really for me. I did finish it but wouldn't listen to it again and I was quite relived to get through it so I could start something else. I just never really got into it, if you know what I mean!
First class. loved it. gripped me from the start to the very last word. Brilliant.
Highly Compelling Listen
I thought her performance reading 'The girl with all the gifts' was outstanding, but this performance outshines that.
Yes, parts made me cry
"really enjoyed it"
put buying this off for a while as the synopsis didn't really appeal but having found nothing else interesting to spend this month's credit on I decided to download it. what a pleasant surprise. a very well narrated book, a good story and more or less unputdownable...or unearplugable. Reminded me somewhat of the story of wolf hadder.
"Imaginative multi-layer read"
Fellside is an imaginative exploration of the tragedy of drug addition alongside the tragedy of government outsourcing of institutions such as gaols. This story would not have penetrated as it does if it were just narrative both on the story of the main protagonist and the brutal overlordship of the prison system by one of the prisoners. By giving Jess Moulson a sort of partial escape the reader is carried on with the suspense of this novel. The mellifluent production by Finty Williams is just perfect as a juxtaposition with the brutal reality of the setting.
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