I give this book 4 Stars

A car crashes through a bridge and falls through the ice of Jawbone Lake.  A woman standing in the dark in the snow at the side of the lake witnesses what happens and runs as a man starts chasing her.  Set in the Peak District in Derbyshire, Jawbone Lake a story of lives changed forever when the crash unearths an unknown mysterious life of the respected business man CJ.  He leaves behind his father Bill, wife Eileen and son Joe, who are left to figure out who CJ really was.  Joe’s search for the truth about his father takes him to Spain, and Hastings, finding another life that CJ lived.  The woman who witnessed the crash, Rabbit, has her own grief to deal with is caught on the fringes of the mystery by someone who is pursuing her.

At the centre of the story is Lake Jawbone being carefully woven into the book with death; the death of a village that lay underneath, a man, and the ashes of a baby.

What I liked about this book:

As their lives unravel Robinson has a great way of bringing the reader into the intimacies of each of them.  The characters and their actions are very plausible making the book a good read.  I like the way that there are links throughout the book encompassing both sides of the hidden underworld to the everyday life of the characters.  I love how the descriptions of the changing scenery throughout the seasons convey a respect for the countryside.  To me this cleverly written book is both subtle in its story and careful in its language.  I particularly like the line “Every remark she made seemed to have a depth to it, another level of inference.  Scribbled notes in the margins, whisperings just out of earshot”

What makes this book different:

A book set in the UK is always special to me.  It means I may have travelled the area, can understand the landscape, the localism, and the people.  This is such a great book to read to get a real sense of being in the Peak District.  This mystery thriller is so beautifully written by someone who understands the art of literature completely.

What I was unsure about:

I think I would like to have known more about CJ’s relationship with the girl in Andalusia although I am not sure that it would have added to the story.  However, leaving out much details of CJ’s hidden life gave me a sense of the shock his family was feeling about a man they never really knew.  It is simply a curiosity I had reading it because I was unsure of how important their relationship is in the story.

I enjoyed reading this book and would recommend it as an excellent read.  I would quite like to read a book written from aspect of CJ’s secret life as a follow up!

My thanks to NetGalley for the opportunity to read this book in return for an honest review

  • Print Length: 320 pages
  • Publisher:  William Heinemann Ltd
  • Published: 02/01/2014
  • Language: English
  • EPUB ISBN: 9781448135776
  • ISBN 9780434022038
  • Available to purchase from:  Amazon, Book Depository, Kobo, Waterstones and more