The Boy That Never Was Review

I read this way back in February last year when I was in hospital, at first I was unsure because it's not my usual type of book but I was interested to read it as the author, Karen Perry, is actually the pen name of two Dublin based writers - Paul Perry and Karen Gillece. I think this is quite an interesting concept and I don't know why but I always love reading books set in Ireland from Irish authors...there's something comforting about it, no matter what the subject is. Perhaps because of my Irish family? Although there's certainly nothing comforting about this book.


the boy that never was review, irish authors, karen perry



Based on the aftermath of their son's disappearance during an earthquake in Tangier, Robin and Harry are trying to rebuild their lives back home in Ireland. Robin has accepted that their little boy died but Harry is convinced he's still alive as his body was never recovered. Up until about halfway through the book I thought it was just one of those family dramas that's just all about emotions so I found it a little dull. But then came a twist that turned it into a thriller so it got a lot more enjoyable for me after that point. Luckily it's a short book so you don't have long to go before it starts getting a bit juicier. 

I didn't really care for a lot of the characters, although I liked Robin and kind of wished I'd known a little more about Cozimo...I felt he was quite an interesting character but he was in it too briefly to really get to know him. The ending did disappoint me a little; what happens in the book is dramatic but could happen in real life if you get what I mean and I just feel that the end turned it into something OTT. 

Overall it wasn't a bad read, I liked how the narrative switched from Harry to Robin every chapter but it was just maybe not my usual kind of thing. I feel like I'd like to watch a TV adaptation of this though, I think the whole thing is like one of those two-parter BBC dramas or something (which I personally love because I'm old on the inside!)

Have you read this before? Can you recommend any good Irish authors?
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