The Dead of Summer

The Dead of Summer

Large Print - 2008 | Large print ed.
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**DEBUT FICTION** Admit how your pulse quickens when you see those headlines: murder spree of schoolgirl loner; boy, 13, rapes classmate; child, 10, stabs pensioner. So says narrator Anita Naidu, and she should know. At thirteen, Anita was the sole witness to London's notorious cave murders of 1986, which left three children dead. Told seven years later to the police psychologist who interviewed her at the time of the killings, Anita's story reveals the savagery of the schoolyard one chilling detail at a time until the truth of what actually happened reveals itself with startling ferocity. Set against the bustling, tourist-packed streets of historic Greenwich, this novel examines sinister events that happen, quite literally, right below the surface.
An audacious debut, The Dead of Summer is written in spare, evocative prose with remarkable psychological acuity and the daring to examine the dark, intensely fragile point between childhood and adolescence, and the morbid impulses of those mutable years.
Publisher: Waterville, Me. : Thorndike Press, 2008.
Edition: Large print ed.
ISBN: 9781410406507
Branch Call Number: LGE-TYPE WAY
Characteristics: 267 p. (large print) ; 23 cm.


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Jul 16, 2011

I found The Dead of Summer to be a chilling and compelling look into the world of three young teenage misfits. In a series of flashbacks we are told the story by Anita. A loner all her life, Anita and her family moved to London from Leeds after the death of her mother in the 1980’s. She doesn’t fit in at school and the only friend she is able to make is Denis, a slightly slow boy. Through Denis she meets Kyle, who lives across the street from her and whom she has already noticed and been attracted to. Kyle is the leader of the group and the other two always follow him.

We are told at the beginning of the book that there was a event that left everyone but Anita dead. As she relates her story to a psychiatrist many years later, she fills in the blanks and we are shown what actually happened that summer. We learn about each of the children’s background, from Denis’s overprotective, religious mother to Kyle’s younger sisters’ disappearance a year earlier. This is a disturbing, yet riveting story that I found very hard to put down. Definitely not a book for the faint-of-heart.

The Dead of Summer is Camilla Way’s debut novel, yet she has produced a well crafted plot that keeps the reader engrossed. Her skilful manipulation keeps the book fresh and unpredictable. There are times when you find a book that really speaks to you, and for whatever reason, this book spoke volumes.


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