I expect this book to be one of my favourite of the year. It’s a great, big, brutal, riveting read.
He also has a past – and 12 bullet holes on his body that tell a story of brutality and danger.
After years of wandering, he’s back in his late wife’s home town, a small fishing town in Massachusetts, trying to build a life.
Loo is an outsider at school, but she learns to create some space. And she also makes a connection with a boy – a friendship that absolutely no one approves of.
The story switches between present day and the past, one by one detailing the bullets that have scarred Hawley’s body.
It becomes clear that the past is about to catch up with Hawley, and he’s prepared to do whatever it takes to protect Loo from the consequences.
This is a big, cinematic, violent story – one that you could imagine the Coen Brothers or turning into a great film.
It also has that mythic resonance, which is not surprising given it is loosely based on the Greek tale of the Labours of Hercules, a reference that’s interesting but not intrusive for the reader, or necessary to know.
Hannah Tinti’s 2008 hit The Good Thief was a classic example of word-of-mouth success. It’s been a long wait for her fans, but worth it. Brilliant.
This book was published in March 2017