Author: N. D. Gomes
Pages: 368 (Paperback)
Publisher: HQ Young Adult
Published: 16th November, 2017
It was New Years Eve the night that dead blackbirds descended, hours before fourteen year old Alex McCarthy’s sister Olivia went missing from a party.
Committed to finding out what happened to her sister, within the previously safe walls of their subarctic Orkney village, Alex knows that dishevelled, sometimes intoxicated Detective Inspector Birkens is her best shot.
Yet as they uncover the secrets behind Olivia’s last night, Alex starts to find things she may be better off never knowing.
I wasn’t really sure what I had to expect before I picked up this book. But it was not this. And since I’m normally not reading crime/mystery thingy stories, this was fairly new territory for me. But I have to say, I liked what I read there.
The book starts on January 1st, 2016. The following chapters each tell of the days that follow. From the beginning it is clear, that something is off and that Olivia’s disappearance is not normal. I don’t want to say too much but pretty soon in the book, her body is discovered near the village of Orkney, where the story takes place. The book follows Alex, Olivia’s younger sister in her desperate search for her sister and later, for her sister’s murder.
Alex is fifteen, young and a bit naive, looking up to her sister in almost every aspect of life. That her sister is gone affects her deeply, the person she trusts the most is suddenly gone and she seems to be alone with her grief, because her parents need to sort their grief out as well. N. D. Gomes tells the story in a very realistic, haunting, even a bit childish and naive way, thanks to the young protagonist. She shows the consequences of something so terrible, visualizing fears and hopes of each of the characters, picturing the characters in different phases of grief.
The book is generally pretty dark, reading it made me quite restless. Especially Alex’ character is something that left something behind in my mind. I can feel with her so much, her character is written so well.
Though it was kind of obvious to me where the story was going I enjoyed reading Blackbird a lot. It was short, deep and as I said before, somewhat haunting. I’m still thinking about it.