The Bridge

Mulholland: Little, Brown. Apr. 2017. 288p. ISBN 9780316355384. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780316355377. F
Michael Beaumont's grandmother Rose raised him but now suffers from dementia and is living in a personal care home. On the day Michael brings his new girlfriend Alison to meet Rose, a terrible incident takes place near the care home—four children are thrown off a London bridge to their deaths. Rose, watching the incident on television, becomes extremely agitated when they arrive, although whether she is upset by the murders or by meeting Alison, it is impossible to know. As time passes, the killer strikes again, always in the vicinity of Michael and Alison and always murdering young children by throwing them into the water. The coincidences mount as Rose's condition continues to deteriorate and Michael begins to wonder if his relationship with Alison is not what it seems to be.
VERDICT Prebble's second novel (after The Insect Farm) is a convoluted tale of a family tragedy, long-kept secrets, and mistaken identity.The plot twists may keep readers intrigued to the end, but the stilted language and shallow characters make the novel less enjoyable.
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