Wednesday, 18 July 2012
One Man's Opinion: HARVEST OF RUINS by SANDRA RUTTAN
One of the lovely things about holidays is having the time and the mental space to read.
I've read some cracking books over the last fortnight and I'll be telling you about them here over the next few weeks. There was only one (I think) that I gave up on early on and the rest all had me in some way or other.
I'll start with my thoughts on the first book I chose to read - the Kindle really paid dividends in this respect - Sandra Ruttan's HARVEST OF RUINS published by Snubnose Press.
This book has a great opening. It’s like crashing into a swimming pool from the flumes into deep-cold water as it takes a little time to find orientation.
On the surface, this book is a courtroom drama, a very good one at that.
Hunter is a detective and she’s on trial for setting in motion a chain of events which led to the killing of Tom, her partner at work and also her partner (even though he’s married to someone else) in her personal life. The story opens with Tom being shot by his own daughter, Vinny, who puts a serious full-stop on the arguing of her estranged parents.
Sandra Ruttan uses a number of methods to reveal the story behind the killing, one which followed the deaths of a number of teenagers in the area. She uses the courtroom, a diary, Vinnie’s work from English class, conversations with colleagues and a series of dreams she’s been having from Vinnie’s perspective. The range is big, and I was concerned that it wasn’t going to hold together; it turned out I was wrong to be worried as each of the fragments remains solid. It’s a credit to Rattan that she not only holds all the pieces together, but that she creates genuine tension and a powerful desire to find out the true facts in a way that I can only resort to cliché to report that I found page-turning.
To leave it there wouldn’t do the book justice. It examines some of the sensitive aspects of parenting, friendships and growing u with real skill, tenderness and insight. How vulnerable the young can be and how far the grown-ups of this world will go to cover up the vulnerabilities that linger.
Whether you enjoy a police-procedural, a courtroom drama or a more serious examination of life and its relationships, this is likely to be a book for you.