The Literary Owl rating: 4/5
Read with: A relaxing cup of chamomile tea
When a teacher fires a gun during a school assembly, killing 3 pupils and a colleague before taking his own life, it appears to be a case that the police can wrap up in a matter of days. One Police Officer however cannot let go of the investigation, and is determined to find out why: What would drive a teacher to commit such an atrocity? What was going on at the school that the headmaster and other teachers are helping to cover up?
Rupture follows Inspector Lucia May as she seeks the answers to these questions against the backdrop of her own difficult personal issues, and pressure from senior officers to file her report and move on.
The theme of the novel is bullying: its effect on both adult child victims, and the reasons why so many people fail to act to prevent it. The subject matter is handled perfectly by Lelic, who weaves a believable plot and realistic characters to a satisfying conclusion.
The character of Lucia May is well-crafted and I was as gripped as she was by the desire to know more about the circumstances of the killings, and the events leading up to the tragedy. The vulnerability in her personal life made an engaging contrast with her determination in her investigation to find the truth. At the end of the book I was left wanting to know more about her and find out what happened to her afterwards.
The story itself stayed with me, and made me think back to my own experiences with bullying, mainly as an observer, and wonder whether there was more I could have done to prevent it happening. Though I’ve classified it as a crime novel, Lelic’s expert handling of the effects of bullying make it stand out as possessing a deeper soul than most books within that genre. The fact that Rupture is his debut makes it even more impressive. Highly recommended.
Simon Lelic has now officially made my ‘must read his other books’ list and I will report back when I read more!