I am delighted to be sharing my thoughts on Caro Ramsay’s latest novel, “Mosaic”. Before I tell you what it is about and my thoughts, I’d like to pay homage to that cover! I absolutely LOVE it! So dark, so atmospheric and so indicative of what is inside! Thanks to the author, the publishers (Severn House) and Netgalley for the ARC copy.
Before I share my thoughts here’s what the official blurb says:
Megan Melvick has returned home after a three-year absence to visit her dying sister, Melissa, for the last time. As she approaches the grand Scottish country estate where she grew up, the memories come flooding back. Just what did happen on the night of Melissa’s wedding five years before? Where has Megan and Melissa’s mother disappeared to? And why does Melissa whisper that solitary word before she finally slips away: Sorry. In order to overcome her demons, Megan must confront her painful recollections of that terrible night, the night of Melissa’s wedding. The night somebody died. But can she really trust her memories? And who is it who’s determined that she should forget …?
In a step away from her Anderson and Costello police procedural series, Caro Ramsay has taken a step out of her comfort zone with standalone psychological thriller, Mosaic. The question is was she going to take her readers out of their comfort zones and leave them disturbed and unsettled? Well, when I read THAT prologue, it quickly became clear that while Caro Ramsay may have taken a departure from her usual genre, her twisted mind remains as dark as always, promising me a dark and sinister journey!
In the very first chapter she conjures up a picture of Glasgow so disturbingly vivid I could almost feel myself slip into the pages and into the story as we joined Megan on her journey home to Argyll. The journey places the reader at the heart of the story providing them an authentic sense of place. Even when we reach Megan’s family home, we are taken over the doorstep, almost reluctantly, as we sense the toxicity of the place. The Italian House, as it is named, is as much of a character in this book as the people are. It’s a toxic character, however, devouring the lives of those who live there, of taking over them, sucking them in and refusing to let them leave
Megan’s sister, Melissa, is dying and so Megan has no choice to return home. But home was not a happy place and her return forces her to face the truth of the past. Narrated from Megan’s POV interspersed with the voice of Carla, Megan’s childhood friend, it makes for a kind of spooky backdrop going on as little hints are dropped as to what really happened. Keep your wits about you as you switch from past to present with both girls. It is well worth the concentration to appreciate the intelligent writing style of Caro Ramsay – and to appreciate her extremely dark mind!
The plot is exquisitely dark and the characters expertly drawn and they combine to make this an absolute masterpiece. It’s haunting at times, disturbing but also terribly sad. Each of the characters brings something to the tale; while it might be difficult to know who to trust, it is hard not to feel for them all in some shape or form.
Murder, suicide, madness and control all mixed together with a heavy dose of manipulation and liberally seasoned with a large pinch of secrecy create a highly suspenseful and compelling psychological masterpiece from one of Scotland’s top crime writers.
This is not to be missed!
Mosaic is available to purchase from:
Waterstones and all other good bookshops