Robin's Reviews > An Isolated Incident

An Isolated Incident by Emily Maguire
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Jul 26, 2016

it was amazing

This is touted as a psychological thriller, but I would dispute that classification. Although the story centres around the rape and murder of 25 year old Bella Michaels in a small country town, this is not your usual 'whodunnit,' as the murderer plays only a minor part in the story. It's about the fallout of such an event and how it affects family, friends, the residents of the town and the larger society.
Narrated from the alternate points of view of Bella's sister Chris and reporter May who comes to town to cover the story, it's an absorbing and highly believable account of how Chris tries to cope with her grief, and incorporated in this story are many layers of social observation - the role of the media, particularly social media in such an event, the ingrained attitudes of many men towards female victims of rape and murder and small town bigotry, gossip and rumours. The supernatural element, where Chris senses Bella's ghost around her, adds an extra thought-provoking aspect. (Was it really a ghost or was Chris becoming mentally unhinged?)

I thought the characters, particularly Chris and her ex-husband Nate were excellently portrayed - the only criticism I have is that despite the rumour that Bella was having an affair with a married colleague, which seemed to be discredited, Bella was a little too angelic and goody two shoes to be a real character. But maybe that was the point - when someone is murdered, their flaws are often glossed over or forgotten.
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Reading Progress

July 17, 2016 – Started Reading
July 24, 2016 – Finished Reading
July 26, 2016 – Shelved

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