Orbit: Hachette. Apr. 2016. 496p. ISBN 9780316300285. $27; ebk. ISBN 9780316300308. F
OrangeReviewStarJess wakes up in a hospital room with no memory of how she got there. She is under arrest for setting her apartment on fire, an act that left her disfigured, injured her boyfriend, and killed Alex Beech, a young boy who lived upstairs. Her own recollections too muddled by her heroin use to know what happened, Jess begins to believe the accusations. When she is convicted of murder, Jess is sent off to Fellside, a new privately run high-security prison bordering the Yorkshire moors. There she is visited by Alex's ghost, who tells her she was not to blame for his death. As she and Alex search for the truth, Jess becomes embroiled in the schemes of a drug-smuggling ring that has turned Fellside into a dangerous place for anyone who doesn't play along.
VERDICT Carey presents another genre-defying novel. While his first, The Girl with All the Gifts, was frightening because of an imagined future, this new book is terrifying owing to the realistic possibilities explored. Less a traditional ghost story than a send-up of the prison-industrial complex with a healthy dose of magic realism, this eerie tale is sure to hook crime fiction and horror lovers.
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