Book Review: The Homes

J.B. Mylet ~ The Homes

Synopsis

There were good people in The Homes. But there were also some very, very bad ones…

A thousand unwanted children live in The Homes, a village of orphans in the Scottish Lowlands on the outskirts of Glasgow. Lesley was six before she learned that most children live with their parents. Now Lesley is twelve, and she and her best friend Jonesy live in Cottage 5, Jonesy the irrepressible spirit to Lesley’s quiet thoughtfulness.

Life is often cruel at The Homes, and suddenly it becomes much crueller. A child is found murdered. Then another. With the police unable to catch the killer, Lesley and Jonesy decide to take the matter into their own hands. But unwanted children are easy victims, and they are both in terrible danger…

Review

I’m sometimes amazed by what I learn from reading. I had no idea that there were Orphan villages for children whose parents were dead, imprisoned or otherwise unable to care for their offspring.

This is where J.B. Mylet has chosen to set his thriller. I use the term thriller loosely because this read more like a family drama. The book considers societal divide as well as judgment and religion in the 1960s, where it was acceptable for parents to abandon their children to the state, but not for a successful, unmarried woman to bring a child into the world.

This element was really interesting, but I would have liked a lot more information on the homes themselves, as well as the reasons why the children were there. That was fascinating for me and the plot felt secondary to the concept which could have been better explored and used to intensify the drama and fear factor of the book.

Mylet did a really good job of capturing Lesley’s naïve mind, believing she was helping the police to catch the killer and showing a child’s perspective of the incident. Her friendship with Jonesy was lovely and it was a delight to read about their dynamic friendship.

What lets the book down is the fact that there was no real anticipation or sense of foreboding and the final reveal of our murderer seemed quite ridiculous, especially given what we learned about them.

A fantastic concept, good story, but an average thriller.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Thank you to Viper Books for my copy. Opinions my own.

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