Book review: Anna O

Anna O

Matthew Blake

HarperCollins Publishers

Review: Carmen Jacobs

While I enjoy watching crime stories on the screen, my impatient nature has led me to giving crime novels a miss, the long wait for the revelation at the end being a tad too much to bear.

But change is as good as holiday and it’s with this in mind that I tackled the latest offering by Matthew Blake.

The plot centres on forensic psychologist, Dr Benedict Prince, who is tasked with the job of trying to wake up suspected killer, Anna O, who has fallen into a into a state called resignation syndrome where she is in a deep sleep and cannot wake up.

Dr Prince needs to wake up Anna O so that she can stand trial for two murders.

The question is whether Dr Prince can wake her up from her deep sleep and what will happen if she does do so.

From the onset the book really makes for good escapism. It speedily transports you to the world of Anna O and London’s West End for a dramatic, yet charming English adventure. My schooling included British literature, so anything in this category immediately feels familiar, nostalgic, bringing with it a sense of excitement, mystery and adventure.

The complexity of the main characters was deeply satisfying to uncover and with every new layer or character trait unveiled, the story became even more interesting.

I particularly loved the switch between past and present as it added to the intensity, leaving the reader second-guessing the characters and events even more.

Although I enjoy watching crime shows, I’m not a fan of gratuitous violence, so I appreciated the fact that the book did not contain extremely gory or detailed descriptions of the murders.

The twist in the end hits one like a punch in the gut just like a true crime novel should and you close the book feeling like you’ve been on a scary, nerve-racking but at the same time thrilling and exhilarating ride at an amusement park.