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In The Wake

by Kyle Thomas Smith
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Friday Aug 10, 2018
In The Wake

Kay may be half-in-the-bag most nights as she reels from the onset of a midlife crisis, complete with a string of infidelities, parents who are either dead or headed that way and an all-important client taking his business elsewhere. But don't underestimate her. In Helen Trevorrow's debut feminist crime novel, Kay will rise to the occasion in the face of foul play, even as her private life spins out of control.

In the Wake
begins with word that a French nurse named Valérie Lagarde has not shown up for work at St. Mary's Hospital in Paddington on the same night that a body has been dredged up from the Thames at London's Excel Centre. Kay, a high-flying p.r. exec, has been pulled in to head off the press and police for her client, only to discover that her name may be linked both to the crime and the disappearance of Valérie Lagarde. The more Kay struggles to put her world back in order in the wake of these events, the more it falls apart as, one by one, her nearest and dearest are revealed to be complicit in the murder.

Where do Kay's loyalties lie? To her loved ones or to the truth? And what will the consequences be for both her and them if she sides with the latter? Furthermore, who is she to side with truth when her own record is hardly stainless, especially when it comes to her partner Julia whom Kay keeps stepping out on and who had herself begun their relationship as an extramarital affair? Yet as the evidence mounts, no amount of drinking or distraction can keep Kay from recognizing that more lives are now at risk as the identity of the homicide victim is revealed.

If you're wondering if there's life after Brexit, look no further than Helen Trevorrow's high-octane "In the Wake."

Lovers of London will thrill to how the capital is itself a major character in this saga and, true to both the city and its infamous p.r. culture, there's a whole lot of boozing going on -- and a whole lot of about-last-night regrets expressed, regrets rendered all the weightier underneath the onus of Kay's Irish Catholic upbringing. The sex scenes are as steamy as they are seedy and clock in just an interlude or two short of the book needing to be double-genred as erotica. The living is as fast as the car chases and, though the reader may at times lose track of the crime amid the explorations of Kay's personal dramas, the plot twists are quick to pick up the slack.

Trevorrow is an accomplished writer and the pages of her debut are chock-a-block with detailed, I-wish-I'd-written-that sorts of descriptions: the body "loosely wrapped in slimy black plastic had lain flaccid, puddling the dockside"; "memories creeping all through the Golden Lion, propped up in corners, spilt and trodden into the sticky carpet, engrained in dirt grey fingerprints on the nearside wall, the poor inebriates looked like endangered animals."

If you're wondering if there's life after Brexit, look no further than Helen Trevorrow's high-octane "In the Wake."

"In The Wake"
By Helen Trevorrow
Urbane Publications
Chatham, Kent, England
Release: July 2018
320 Pages
ISBN 978-1-911583-83-7
MOBI 978-1-911583-86-8
$0.00 with Kindle Unlimited

Kyle Thomas Smith is author of the novel 85A (Bascom Hill, 2010). He lives in Brooklyn with his husband and two cats.


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