I picked this up while I was waiting for some computer updates to install and was quickly hooked. I was soon finding time to read it whenever I could. Which is obviously a good sign.
It tells the story of a boy who experiences a hugely traumatic event that leaves him speechless, literally. Life doesn’t get much easier though and it’s followed by a pretty grim existence with limited choices.
That’s a good way to build empathy and there’s certainly no shortage of obstacles and setbacks for our protagonist to overcome. The dual threads of the narrative, which cover two different time periods, are weaved nicely to keep you reading, showing you just enough to keep you hooked before switching away.
If I had a criticism it would be with the ending, which seems somewhat abrupt. There’s a bit of build up, some tension, and then it’s over in a flash. I thought it could do with a bit more punch.
That said, it was still a good read, packed with intriguing characters (it helps when your protagonist is a mute safe-cracker — not too many of those in literature, or anywhere). While the plot is fairly straightforward, it’s engaging enough and the writing draws you in so you root for the outcome, which makes it satisfying.