‘A Tidy Ending’ is the latest book by Joanna Cannon.
Linda has lived around here ever since she fled the dark events of her childhood in Wales. Now she sits in her kitchen, wondering if this is all there is – pushing the Hoover round and cooking fish fingers for tea is a far cry from the glamorous lifestyle she sees in the glossy catalogues coming through the door for the house’s previous occupant. Terry isn’t perfect – he picks his teeth, tracks dirt through the house and spends most of his time in front of the TV. But that seems fairly standard – until he starts keeping odd hours at work, at around the same time young women start to go missing in the neighbourhood. If Linda could just track down Rebecca, who lived in the house before them, maybe some of that perfection would rub off on her. But the grass isn’t always greener: you can’t change who you really are, and there’s something nasty lurking behind the net curtains on Cavendish Avenue…
I’ve spent my evening absorbed in the latest book by Joanna Cannon and I can tell you, it’s addictive!
The story is seen through the narrative of Linda Hammet, a fascinating woman with simple needs who leads a simple life. She’s married to Terry, likes her house to be in order and works in a charity shop sorting out the donations. But when local women are murdered in the estate that herself and Terry have just moved into and she finds herself obsessing over the case like everyone including her opinionated mother. But as well as obsessing over the murders, Linda finds wondering about the previous resident of her new home when her post is delivered to her house.
Can I just say that this book is unreal and Linda is one of the most interesting protagonists that I’ve had the joy to read. To the outside world, she appears as simple and not clued in, people are sympathetic towards and humour her, but infact Linda is cunningly clever and this is the absolute magic in this story that made it impossible to put down. She pays more attention than people give her credit for.
Linda lives her life through rose tainted glasses and people regularly take advantage of her kind heart and when she commits to something, she’s in it 100%! She enjoys nothing more than tidiness and order and spends her time cleaning up other people’s lives.
Her interactions with her mother also made for engaging reading as her mother was quick to voice her opinion and her outlook on the world did make me chuckle at times.
Joanna has crafted an amazing story with an intricate storyline that flows at a fast pace and flows between past and present tense. The story is thrilling, compelling with such dark moments of wit and innocence that was fantastic reading.
The whole time I was reading this book, I totally imagined it as a screen adaptation with someone like Carey Mulligan playing the innocent role of Linda.
Gripping, macabre with relatable characters and a stunning leading lady, ‘A Tidy Ending’ is one of my favourite books of 2022 and if you like dark stories of revenge, then you’re in for a treat.
You can buy ‘A Tidy Ending’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.