This review is written with thanks to Orion Publishing Group and Netgalley for my copy of Tattletale.
Mags is a lawyer living in America, who flies over to the UK when she learns that her estranged brother, Abe, is in a coma after an accident. When she visits him, she meets his fiancee, Jody, and moves into his home, a flat in a converted church. As she gets to know the people in Abe's life, she gets the feeling that she has not been told the truth about his accident. Will Mags find out what really happened to Abe?
Tattletale is a slow burner. It begins with a woman calling an ambulance, followed by a party scene, and it was difficult for me to see how the two events were connected until the end, and this makes the first half of the book feel a little disjointed. The characters of Mags and Jody felt a little cold,. and I found it hard to connect emotionally with them, despite the alternating first person narratives of Mags, Jody and Mira, which allow the reader to think about what has happened from different points of view. However, this style of narration comes into its own later in the novel, when it becomes clear when some aspects of Abe's life have been lied about or misunderstood, as this makes the reader unsure about what happened and makes them eager to find out.
The residents in the flats where Jody and Abe live are a diverse mix of people and are all vulnerable to some extent. This gives Naughton the opportunity to raise issues such as drug use, mental illness and asylum seekers. These are important issues for today's society, and I am pleased that Tattletale reflected the diverse nature of our communities. However, I was disappointed that the issues were not explored in greater depth, as this may have helped me to connect with the characters more easily.
There are several twists in Tattletale, which kept me gripped, especially towards the end. However, I felt that the climax of the novel was a little rushed, and I would have liked this part of the plot to have been covered in more detail.
Overall, I did find the plot of Tattletale engaging, but given that the book is fairly short, I believe that extra length would have allowed Naughton to explore issues in more detail, and created a richer novel.
Tattletale is published on 26th January, and available from Amazon.