Friday, January 11, 2013

Review: The Invisible Ones - Stef Penney

 Finally!!!   this is another one I've been listening to for two weeks.  It was interesting enough, but slow on the uptake.  I kept "getting lost" and having to rewind and listen again.  This is one of the few books I suspect I'd have preferred in print.

I originally was notified that I had won this from the Early Reviewers program back in Nov 2011, but never received my copy.  I loved Penney's earlier book The Tenderness of Wolves and was really anxious to read this one.

Invisible Ones is about gypsies, their peripatetic life style, and the myths and prejudices that have built up around this ancient group of people.  It's fiction, there's a mystery (and a rather good one at that) that had me guessing until the end when I discovered I had figured it out all wrong.  It is difficult to tell how much research Penney did before writing this, so one doesn't know whether to take on board any of the issues, traditions, life styles portrayed, etc as the way things really were.

The story is told by two voices - Ray Lovell is a private detective who is hired by a father to find his missing daughter.  The daughter had married a gypsy.  Lovell's mother was from 'the family' so he had an entrè into the trailer court of the family where the missing girl had lived.  The other narrator is "JJ" a young teen living with all his extended family in the trailors.  There are many secrets, many many characters each with a story that is often told from both narrator's perspectives.  I think the huge number of characters and the telling /re=telling was what made it difficult to follow in audio, a format I normally like. 

Finally, not only do we have two different voices giving us the story, we have Ray Lovell's recollections wavering between a drug-induced coma in the hospital and the pre and post events of his hospitalization.  The book clearly indicates at the beginning of each chapter who is talking and where they are, but it required some real mental gymnastics to keep up with what was happening.

I'd love to read this in print later when I have more time.  The mystery in the story is really a good one, so I would recommend it, just not in audio unless you have 11 1/2 straight hours to sit and listen.

Title: The Invisible Ones
Author:Stef Penney
Publisher: Penguin Audio 2012
Narrator: Dan Stevens
Genre: Mystery
Subject: gypsies, missing persons
Setting: England
Source: Audible audio books (my own files)
Why did I read this book now? I liked the author's first book and was interested in the subject matter.
Rating ★★★ 1/2


Post a Comment

Welcome, thanks for stopping by. Now that you've heard our two cents, perhaps you have a few pennies to throw into the discussion. Due to a bunch more anonymous spam getting through, I've had to disallow anonymous comments. I try to respond to all comments posing a question, but may not always get to you right away.