My Rating ~ Four stars
RELEASE DATE: 3 September 2019
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
RRP: AU $29.99
‘Where do I find Crime?’
‘Crime doesn’t have its own section,’ said the librarian without looking up, ‘it’s all under fiction.’
In this seductive coming-of-age debut, Jess Walker, a young and uninitiated first year student, falls in love with two great story-tellers. One, Alec, a journalist in exile, the other, Lorna, a charismatic literature professor. Starting out under the flat grey skies of an east Anglian university campus and ending up on an idyllic Mediterranean island, The Truants is about a group of clever and eccentric misfits who yearn to break the rules. As Jess’ experience of infatuation and betrayal, disappearance and loss gives way to a breathless search for the truth, she finds herself detective in a twisted crime of the heart. Unsettling, challenging, surprisingly funny and beautifully written, The Truants is a compulsively readable literary debut with a twist – and a dead body to boot.
Thank you so much to Bloomsbury for providing me with a copy of The Truants in exchange for an honest review.
Jess has arrived at university, trying not to fangirl too hard over starting a class with an infamous author and teacher everyone loves, Lorna. As Jess navigates her new Agatha Christie class with Lorna, her new friends and boyfriend, life becomes a little more complicated. The Truants takes us through so many different elements and side mysteries, it’s almost too hard to categorise. It’s a ride best enjoyed without too much prior information, I think. For much of the book I thought the answers to the mysteries and twists were obvious and a little clique, but by the end I realised I hadn’t actually guessed most of it!
I usually struggle a little with campus type novels because it’s not a scene I’ve ever encountered myself, but the way the author spun the story around the actual characters, instead of the usual university tropes made the book an easy read for me. The story was told at a meandering pace that allowed a slow reveal of all the information, leading to some shocking revelations at the end. Although I often criticise slower books for not holding my interest, there were so many secrets to uncover that I was never bored.
This was not one of those books where every mystery was neatly tied up at the end, but the feeling of intrigue it left me with was fitting with the atmosphere of the book as a whole.
I’d recommend this one if you love mysteries, enemies to lovers, secrets and troubled friendships!
Photo from my Instagram account