Monday 30 August 2021

Review | The Thin Place by C D Major

Published by Thomas & Mercer on April 15, 2021

The Thin Place was a spooky and absorbing read that I found utterly captivating. I was sold straight away by the simplistic yet evocative cover and the intriguing blurb but I didn’t quite expect just how much the story would consume me. At times quite intense and emotional, I was transfixed by the premise of Overtoun and eager to follow Ava on her investigation of something so fascinating. I was gripped and wanted to spend every moment I had reading the book. Even after I finished, I had more questions about the eerie and enthralling mystery within.

The book is told from the perspective of three characters over different timeframes. In present day, we meet Ava, a journalist who is investigating the Overtoun estate and the haunting bridge which has seen many dogs jump to their deaths. In 1929, we hear Marion’s story. A young woman who is neglected by her new husband and struggling through the heartbreak of miscarriage after miscarriage. In 1949, we meet Constance, a young girl who is locked away by her mother, forced to see several doctors after being told she is very sick, always afraid that one day she might not appear as ill as her mother tells her she is.

Each thread to this story was mesmerising and often quite disturbing. I was so absorbed in learning about all three characters and seeing how their storylines intertwined.

Constance’s story was particularly unsettling, and I could feel her dread and overwhelming loneliness seeping off the pages. Her relationship with her mother seemed deeply unnerving and I was intrigued to see how the story would play out.

Marion’s perspective was quite sad to read – seeing how she progressed from the hope of a new relationship to the despair and then reluctant acceptance of losing so many babies, and also how numbly she accepted the abandonment of her husband.

Ava’s part in the book helped bring each strand together and the things she discovered about Overtoun sent chills down my spine. Ava and her partner Fraser are expecting their first baby and whilst Ava’s family struggle with how much her job seems to be taking over for her and how distracted she is from her own life whilst she focuses on uncovering more about Overtoun, for me as the reader it was easy to see how she did this as I felt the exact same fascination with the place.

I found The Thin Place to be a really atmospheric read, quite claustrophobic in its storytelling in a way that grabbed my attention just as strongly as Overtoun pulled Ava into its mystery. The sense of a story that needed telling, Ava is obsessed with the estate and the bridge, and in turn as the reader this left me dying to learn more about a place that was shrouded in darkness, hidden away to the extent that anybody who knew about it would rather not speak of it.

A sign of a good historical read for me is one that has me researching long after I’ve turned the final page and since finishing the book and reading the interesting author’s note that followed, I have spent many hours searching for real-life stories about the supposed dog suicide bridge as C D Major’s phenomenally well-researched novel has had me compelled to learn even more.

The Thin Place was a truly creepy and beguiling gothic thriller with a satisfyingly chilling ending.

Review copy provided by the publisher - this was my honest review.  

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