‘A Song Of Isolation’ is the latest book by Michael J. Malone.
Film star Amelie Hart is the darling of the silver screen, appearing on the front pages of every newspaper. But at the peak of her fame she throws it all away for a regular guy with an ordinary job. The gossip columns are aghast: what happened to the woman who turned heads wherever she went? Any hope the furore will die down are crushed when Amelie’s boyfriend Dave is arrested on charges of child sexual abuse. Dave strongly asserts his innocence, and when Amelie refuses to denounce him, the press witch hunt quickly turns into physical violence, and she has to flee the country. While Dave is locked up with the most depraved men in the country and Amelie is hiding on the continent, Damaris, the victim at the centre of the story, is isolated – a child trying to make sense of an adult world.
I’ll be honest when I settled into reading this book, I was unaware of the synopsis, so it was a bit of blind reading on my part, but I think that was the reason why I was genuinely enthralled with this story, a story of redemption, guilt and revenge.
The story is about successful actress Amelie Hart who on the day is deciding that she is going to break up with her partner Dave, is arrested for abusing their neighbours’ little girl. Ironically on this day, Dave is intending to propose to Amelie. The story then follows the couple as they go through the next few years with this allegation hanging over them, Dave serves a prison sentence even though Dave has always maintained his innocence. Whilst being in the public eye, Amelie is hounded by the press and by trolls on social media and decides to relocate to France to set up a new life and identity for herself. And Damaris, the little girl who accused Dave of the assault is left dealing with the scars of the accusations and abuse.
The multiple narratives to this story give it an interesting slant. Dave is a kind man, who has fought for his innocence and is serving his time with some of the worst people in the world and he is considered to be one of them which is heartbreaking to read in some parts. I genuinely liked Dave and as the story progressed, we see him regain some strength and belief in himself, but it’s saddening how the ordeal has impacted on his relationships with Amelie and his parents, who were there supporting him throughout. Amelie is also an interesting character, she’s a timid character who has experienced something significant in her past that impacted on her career and made her take a step back from the spotlight. So Dave’s allegation is public, it brings back memories of unhappier times and also shows Amelie who are her friends and who are enemies when everyone has an opinion on the situation. There are many unfortunate characters in this book and Damaris is one of them. Young, naive and stuck in the middle of an unhappy marriage.
I thought it was clever for the story to begin with the moment that Dave is arrested for the crime. At that point the reader hasn’t formed an opinion on him and think that he’s evil creature that the press and neighbours have portrayed to be.
A gripping and cunning story that really pulls the reader in, ‘A Song Of Isolation’ is a complex and dark story that delves into the dark side of human traits, exploring relationships, greed and the sinister world of the paparazzi, this book was a finely tuned thriller.
You can buy ‘A Song Of Isolation’ on Amazon