Strange Sally Diamond By Liz Nugent
‘Strange Sally Diamond’ is the latest book by Liz Nugent.
Sally Diamond cannot understand why what she did was so strange. She was only doing what her father told her to do, to put him out with the rubbish when he died. Now Sally is the centre of attention, not only from the hungry media and police detectives, but also a sinister voice from a past she cannot remember. As she begins to discover the horrors of her childhood, Sally steps into the world for the first time, making new friends and big decisions, and learning that people don’t always mean what they say. But who is the man observing Sally from the other side of the world? And why does her neighbour seem to be obsessed with her? Sally’s trust issues are about to be severely challenged.
I was delighted to have been sent a copy of ‘Strange Sally Diamond’ by Liz. Liz is one of my favourite authors, her debut novel called ‘Unravelling Oliver’ has one of the best opening lines that I’ve ever read and the first line to ‘Strange Sally Diamond’ was just as gripping.
Prior to reading the book, I attended a book launch for the book at Belfast bookshop, No Alibis and Liz discussed her inspiration behind Sally Diamond and why she decided to create Roscommon Noir as the setting for a story a small rural town called Carricksheedy.
The story is set in 3 parts and is primarily seen through the narrative of Sally Diamond, a woman who lives her life by literal instructions, so when her father advises her upon his death to put him out with the bins, that’s exactly what she does.
Suddenly a media frenzy descends onto Sally and the quiet life that she’s been leading is taken away and she’s put into spotlight making friends for the first time, adapting to social situations and human interactions.
I loved Sally Diamond, she’s honest, blunt and absolute breath of fresh air, her life has been far from perfect and so the trauma of her childhood is what makes her who she is as a person and her behaviour. She speaks her mind and is always quick to put others in their place when she doesn’t agree with them.
Although the story is a fantastic one, it’s not for the faint hearted focusing on child abduction, sexual assault, child abuse, racism and diversity and these parts of the story does make for hard and unsettling reading. But like Liz’s previous books, she adds some lightness to the story to balance out darkness and this often takes place with Sally.
Another element of the story are the postcards that are sent to the Sally from New Zealand and the sender is another narrative in the book, but it’s hard to say much about them without giving something away!
This book is another wonderfully crafted story from one of Ireland’s favourite crime writers. The chapters are short and snappy so they really pull the reader in dark making it impossible to put down. The book is also beautifully descriptive in parts, from old home that Sally grew up to the new cottage with a steam that flows underneath the floorboards, Liz really paints a picture with her writing. Witty, dark and compelling from the first page, ‘Strange Sally Diamond’ is an absolute must read for all crime fans.
You can buy ‘Strange Sally Diamond’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.