Rattle (Fiona Cummins)


He has planned well. He leads two lives. In one he’s just like anyone else. But in the other he is the caretaker of his family’s macabre museum. Now the time has come to add to his collection. He is ready to feed his obsession, and he is on the hunt. Jakey Frith and Clara Foyle have something in common. They have what he needs. What begins is a terrifying cat-and-mouse game between the sinister collector, Jakey’s father and Etta Fitzroy, a troubled detective investigating a spate of abductions. Set in London’s Blackheath, Rattle by Fiona Cummins explores the seam of darkness that runs through us all; the struggle between light and shadow, redemption and revenge. It is a glimpse into the mind of a sinister psychopath. And it’s also a story about not giving up hope when it seems that all hope is already lost.

This was a pretty unique book. I love how it could’ve been just like any other crime procedural out there, but instead, it managed to stand out. Why? For most people, the creepy serial killer made this book special. To me, it was the characterization. Don’t get me wrong, I did think the Bone Collector was fascinating. What a disturbing guy! However, what made me appreciate it even more was that I quite enjoyed reading about these people’s struggles.

Rattle follows the story of two different families, a detective, and a dangerous serial killer. We progressively get to know them all: their issues, their backstories, their motivations. The beginning was powerful and intriguing, with all their lives intertwining, their fates determined by their choices. Clara Foyle disappears right after wandering from a park. She was last seen talking to a mysterious man. This same man, the Bone Collector, can’t wait to get to Jakey Frith. But what do these children have in common? And how does everything connect?

First of all, you should know that this is not a book full of twists and turns. As you keep reading, you learn things even before the detective does. While this might not be my favorite type of book, I have to admit it worked pretty well here. And even though there are no big surprises, Rattle is still a well-written thriller.

I couldn’t help but get immersed in these characters’ lives, as the author took its time to develop their narratives. I especially loved Lilith and Erdman’s story, and I so wanted Jakey’s father to help his son. My complaint? I believe Etta Fitzroy had more potential than we got to see and that’s why I’m hoping for a sequel.

As for the writing and the structure, the short chapters made for a fairly quick read, which means I devoured this novel in a matter of hours. It was dark and creepy, but never too graphic. Nothing bad to say about the ending either: it was fresh and different from my last reads. I liked that. Still, after a few days, I found myself not really remembering this book, which I think it means it wasn’t as unforgettable as I wanted it to be.

Buy Here

Macmillan, 2017


26 thoughts on “Rattle (Fiona Cummins)

  1. Inge | The Belgian Reviewer says:

    I love the cover! I’ve read some conflicting reviews about this one, some people really liked it, others found it difficult to connect to the characters. I’m very happy you reviewed it now too, I trust your ratings 100% and it’s good to know that it’s an okay read but not exceptionally good. Nothing wrong with that but not highest on my wishlist now anymore.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Jo says:

    I’ve heard both good and bad things about this one – I’ve bought it anyway, because it’s currently at the bargain price of £0.99 on Kindle! Great review 🙂


  3. Emma says:

    I’m like others here and have seen great reviews of is and so so ones. I am still undecided, despite the 99p price tag. I do like twists and turns and am not the biggest fan of finding things out first. I need a big reveal at the end. One to ponder.


  4. Diana says:

    I didn’t know about this book until this post. It sounds great and I think I would be drawn to serial killer since I like the darker narrations. Sorry to hear that the book wasn’t memorable though.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Donna says:

    For creepy queens as we are, creepiness itself isn’t enough to make a story original 😀 I’m becoming more and more picky about characterization and I’ve realized a book stays with me only if the protagonists managed to leave a mark on me/ Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Read Diverse Books says:

    The Bone Collector and Rattle..these words are making me shudder x)
    It sounds like a pretty straightforward, but fun read with a fascinating villain/serial killer. haha
    It’s a shame it wasn’t too memorable after you finished, but at least it was a quick read and sometimes all we’re looking for is a few hours of entertainment.


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