Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Book Review - The Farm by Tom Rob Smith

I've really enjoyed some of Tom Rob Smiths Previous books particularly Child 44.

This time he has moved on from Leo Demidov and the Russian setting of that trilogy.  This book is split between London and Sweden.  It is a very dark novel focused on themes such as death, lies and deceit within families, incest, child sexual exploitation and mental health problems. Not a jolly laugh a minute read then clearly.  However what it lacks in jollity it more than makes up for in terms of the way you are drawn into the tale.  Essentially you hear a story of a woman's concern for a young girl who is missing.  The lady has moved to a farm in Sweden only recently having sold up her business.  She is talking to her son after she flees from a mental institution that her husband has tried to have her committed to.  She has come back to London to her son who she believes is the only person who'll believe her.  She believes her husband to be complicit in the sexual abuse of young girls like the missing adopted daughter of a neighbour.

As I say it is very dark - if subjects like those I've mentioned are things you aren't comfortable reading or hearing about I'd avoid this book.  But as I say the story is well crafted with twists and intrigue all over the place and it was very difficult to put down, I was even reading it walking in the street at one point I wanted to know the next plot twist so much.  The climax is not actually what I expected or predicted either and is darker than I'd imagined or perhaps that was hoped I suppose.  A double thumbs up on the FTUBRS*

Also a  quick review of a very short little novelette by Syd Moore - "If on a Winter's Night a Traveller Passes By" - very short but well written this is a great scary little ghost story if you like that kind of thing.  Too short is my only complaint it'll take less then 30mins to read it cover to cover.  A one thumb up on FTUBRS*

* Furtheron Thumbs Up Book Review Scale - 
lowest is both thumbs down with a frown
two thumbs down, 
one thumb horizontal,
two thumbs horizontal, 
one thumb up, 
two thumbs up 
two thumbs up with a grin - I believe only yet awarded once!


  1. Who was the lucky author to get two up w/ a grin on the side?

    1. Twice actually - Ben Elton and Alexander Masters