The Invisible Ones by Stef Penney is set in England in the 1980s but not very obviously. Ray Lovell is the private detective who’s hired to find a Romany woman who disappeared 6 years ago after her wedding. He has some of “the strong black blood” in him himself, which is, in the mind of his client, supposed to give him an edge in finding her.
The other point of view character is a young Romany boy who lives in a group of trailers with his mom and extended family, including his uncle, who was the missing girl’s husband and the father to their sickly young boy.
It’s a good story, with a protagonist who is his own enemy (but not worst) and some interesting investigation goes on. There’s sort of a framing device of Ray being in the hospital after a car crash, but I don’t know how necessary it really was.
All in all, not a bad story, and I quite enjoyed the conclusion, even though it felt like it was trying a little too hard to be clever. Hard to hold that against a whodunnit though.
An interesting look inside the insular world of the Jankos -- a modern Gypsy family. The mystery of Rose Wood (why she disappeared and where she is now) kept me guessing throughout the book and I didn't see the ending coming despite picking up on some essential clues. A solid mystery.
I found it difficult to get interested in this story.
a fascinating mystery with sympathetic characters.
Excellent, just excellent.
Saturday Nov 17 2012....just finished her first novel "A Tenderness of Wolves" and liked it so much, I'm going to start this one right away (10:00 pm, so not sure how far I'll get today!).....Thurs Nov 22 2012, finished.....so good, and I even guessed right at the surprise conclusion! (There is a big hint in one part).....looking forward to her next book, sure hope it doesn't take another six years!
I was surprised that this is a first novel, because the author writes with great skill and maturity. The plot twists but is believable and compelling, and the window into gypsy life is fascinating.
I found this a terrific read especially as it was about gypsies and their way of life which was new to me. I found the mystery at the heart of the novel very involving and I had trouble putting the book down. I also enjoyed her first novel The Tenderness of Wolves.
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