Book review: The Other Side of Night

The Other Side of Night

Adam Hamdy

Pan Macmillan

Review: Karen Watkins

This mystery has a strange opening and a starburst ending. Be warned.

It may be fabulously different for some but annoying for others.

The publisher has requested not to spoil the surprises in this book.

It’s basically a mystery surrounding a message found in a book, a romance that didn’t work out and a death in mysterious circumstances.

It starts with David Asha telling us about the day he abandoned his son Elliott.

Enter disgraced policewoman Harriet (Harri) Kealty who discovers an inscription in a used book that she buys: “Help me, He’s trying to kill me.”

With nothing else to do she investigates the message. Who is the person and who is trying to kill them?

Her investigation leads her to David’s house because his wife Beth left the mysterious inscription and she recently died of cancer… or did she?

Who opens the door but Ben Elmys who Harri used to date and who is now the guardian of David’s son, Elliot.

When Ben claimed guardianship of Elliot, he let him in on a secret…one that only the two of them know.

It transpires that David is also dead – believed to be suicide from jumping off a cliff in his grief for the loss of Beth and now

Ben is guardian to their son, Elliott.

However, Ben doesn’t seem himself, certainly not the man Harri had fallen in love with.

Now he seems unhinged as if he’s about to have a mental breakdown and her concern for Elliott grows.

This man should not be caring for a child in this state.

This book is deliberately ambiguous, keeping the reader in the dark. It is very slow with parts that rambled with over-elaborate detail and little action.

Tempted to give up, I persevered, wanting to discover the moment when it would all come together.

When I found out what was happening it was too bizarre.

All I can say is that the story combines the philosophy of love and life, mystery, grief, regrets, loss, family and sacrifice with an element of science fiction.