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.