The Accident, by Gillian Jackson

Eight stars

First and foremost, a large thank you to Gillian Jackson and Sapere Publishers for providing me with a copy of this publication, which allows me to provide you with an unbiased review.

Gillian Jackson is back with another thriller that takes the readers into the middle of a horrible event, then tells of the fallout from a number of perspectives. Sure to pique the interested of the open-minded reader, the story tackles loss bereavement, and new hope all at once. They dubbed this storm the Beast from the East, but Hannah Graham was determined to get to work. When her vehicle lost control on one of England’s motorways, it began a series of events that caused a horrible accident. Vehicles piled-up and injuries to many, including three fatalities, but Hannah can remember none of it. Sitting in her hospital bed, she must focus on her recovery, though is tossed a major set-back as well. Joe Parker was not as lucky, involved in the crash and having his wife, Alison, die almost instantly. Alan and Cassie Jones also lost their son and must pick up the pieces as best they can. As the story progresses, Jackson takes the reader into the lives of all three families to show how the accident drastically changes them, at times for the worse but also provided new and exciting opportunities. Still, that February 2, 2018 will forever be etched on the minds of these three families, as they come to terms with how their lives will never be the same. An interesting perspective for a thriller in this short novel that keeps the reader wanting to learn more. Recommended for those who enjoy these multi-perspective stories, as well as the reader who needs a short book to bridge two reading experiences.

I have read a few Gillian Jackson novels in the past and enjoyed them. Their quick story and fast-paced narrative keeps the reader on top of things as the characters rush through a series of events. While the story does switch throughout, protagonist roles would have to go to Hannah Graham and Joe Parker, whose lives are front and centre throughout. Their losses and new approaches to life are highlighted and keep the reader wanting to know a little more. That they cross paths, first at the coroner’s inquest and then in public, allows for a personal connection between them, particular as they process the events of that day. Others make a lesser impact on the reader, but help to enrich the larger narrative and give the protagonists something towards which they strive. The story was not what I expected at the beginning, expecting the accident to be something entirely sinister and perhaps planned. However, it turned into something of a healing piece, as the fragments are picked up and families seek to pull themselves together. Jackson writes in such a way that the reader races through these chapters to get some answers, many of which remain unattainable. Well done for a short reading experience and I am pleased to have been handed a copy!

Kudos, Madam Jackson, for a great piece. I like how you bring things together and keep the reader wondering at the same time.

A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/248185-a-book-for-all-seasons

Abduction, by Gillian Jackson

Eight stars

Having recently read one of Gillian Jackson’s more heart-wrenching pieces, I went in search of more. Thankfully, I was able to locate this book with ease, which ends up being almost as panic-inducing as a small child disappears and a family fights to find her. It was an August morning in 2000 when Grace Bryson was to celebrate her third birthday. When she disappeared at the party, no one could locate her, with the police soon becoming involved. The fruitless search lasted two weeks with no leads, leaving Stephen and Margaret Bryson devastated, as well as their older daughter, Elise. While out shopping in 2014, Elise sees a young woman she is convinced is her sister. After approaching her, Elise learns that the girl goes by Jane Solomon. While few people believe her from the outset, Elise is convinced and hopes to repair what was broken all those years ago. Able to convince the original detective, Jack Priestly, to take another look, Elise tries to determine what’s going on. Some oddities in the Solomon story leave Priestly curious about investigating a little more. As the narrative progresses, there’s a rush to see if Jane and Grace are the same person, as well as how the disappearance/kidnapping took place. Armed with a determination like no other, Elise will stop at nothing to rewrite her family’s horror story and turn it into a fairytale. Jackson does well in this book and keeps the reader’s attention throughout. Recommended to those who like an easy to digest book about child abduction and the devastation it brings to families, as well as those readers who like crime thrillers that can be devoured in short order.

While not as powerfully written as the other book of hers that I read, Gillian Jackson is able to effectively tell her story and keep the reader fully engaged from the opening paragraph to the final sentence. There is much to discover in this story, which tells a narrative from a variety of perspectives, all as the case heats up. Grace Bryson may have been abducted years ago, but there is one person who will not rest until the truths are known. Jackson uses the varied perspectives and added clues to paint an interesting tale that is sure to keep the reader wanting to know more. With a mix of character sentiments and time periods, the crime evolves as the chapters fly by. There is an underlying chill within the pages of this book, as one cannot shake that a child’s disappearance is sure to rock a family to its core. I did feel, however, that the story sped along, perhaps too quickly, resolving itself in short order and then used a sub-plot thriller until it is was time to piece together the events of August 2000 again. Jackson surely needed a little more content, though I might have wanted more on the more current Jane-Grace case, if I had my own way. A great experience overall, which is denoted in the fact that I read this in a single day.

Kudos, Madam Jackson, for another chilling tale. I am happy to have come across your work and hope others will take the time to enjoy them as well.

A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/248185-a-book-for-all-seasons

Snatched, by Gillian Jackson

Eight stars

First and foremost, a large thank you to Gillian Jackson and Sapere Books for providing me with a copy of this publication, which allows me to provide you with an unbiased review.

Always ready to try a new author, I was pleased to have been contacted by the publisher with this Gillian Jackson book. While dealing with a sensitive topic like child abduction, Jackson pulls the reader in with her fast-paced writing and numerous plot twists. When Danny Stone is kidnapped on his way home from school, no one seems to notice. The boy of eleven cannot even tell what’s happened to him, though he soon realises that he is no longer around those who love him, but rather in a dingy room with only the bare necessities. Thank goodness there is another boy in the room with him, though Lewis does not seem to be much help during the early days. When Martha and Richard Stone realise their son has not returned home, panic sets in, which is only exacerbated when they receive a ransom note. Working with the police, the Stones try their best to gather the money, though it will not be easy and the deadline seems too quick. All the while, Danny learns a little more about his surroundings, including the role young Lewis plays in the entire game. With the kidnappers apparently keen on quick cash, they are breaking all the unwritten rules, leaving Danny to try a daring move. Playing off the unique twists in the situation, Richard Stone tries to secure his son’s release, but the web is quite complex and pulls everyone in. Jackson does well in this quick read, keeping the reader on their edge and wondering what’s coming next. Recommended to those who like quick thrillers, as well as the reader who prefers a story they can devour in a few hours of reading.

Having never read Gillian Jackson before, I was quite eager to see if this was the sort of writing that I could find to my liking. Jackson sets the stage early and keeps the action going from there, with wonderful twists the reader may not have seen coming. Danny Stone plays an interesting protagonist of sorts, showing the reader the perspective of the captive and trying to reason why he has been taken. Left in poor conditions, the reader soon sees that Danny is unwilling to give up, letting his optimism shine through in each situation. Richard Stone counterbalances him as a secondary protagonist on the other side of the literary equation. The elder Stone has been harbouring secrets and while he tries to save his son. Richard appears eager to bring this all to an end, but his agenda does not always align with that of the others. Jackson uses a few other key characters to push the story along, leaving the reader to see a number of the kidnapping perspectives as the narrative builds. The story itself held my attention, with a few twists and a great split narrative, depicting the two sides of the story. Jackson keeps the chapters short and the action high, allowing the reader to devour this book in short order. While a heart wrenching subject for anyone close to a child, Gillian Jackson handles herself well while touching on numerous area of the crime throughout.

Kudos, Madam Jackson, for a great read. I hope others will take some time to read this and your other writing!

A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/248185-a-book-for-all-seasons