Audiobook Review: Fellside by M. R. Carey
Narrator: Finty Williams
Also by this author: The Girl With All the Gifts
Published by Hachette Audio, Orbit on April 5th 2016
Length: 15 hours 35 minutes
The unmissable and highly anticipated new literary thriller from the author of the international phenomenon The Girl With All the Gifts.
Fellside is a maximum security prison on the edge of the Yorkshire Moors. It's not the kind of place you'd want to end up. But it's where Jess Moulson could be spending the rest of her life.
It's a place where even the walls whisper.
And one voice belongs to a little boy with a message for Jess.
Will she listen?
Fellside is haunting and unique and at times, quite grim. Once I was hooked, I was firmly hooked. Our introduction to the protagonist is memorable and it takes a little time for both her and for us the readers to piece together the story of what brought her to that initial scene in the book. Turns out, our protagonist is actually a heroin addict. A horrible fire destroyed her apartment complex, killing a young boy. The last thing Jess remembers is shooting up, so when they place the blame on her, she can remember nothing in her defense.
The book takes place largely in the women’s prison that Jess is sent to. Her case was high profile in the media, she comes in to an atmosphere where some of the inmates have already decided to make her life harder. The one highlight for Jess, the one individual that really seems friendly and supportive (or at a minimum not openly hostile?) comes not from another inmate, but from what appears to be a ghost. A ghost in the form of the little boy she is charged with killing. Yeah, it kinda seems sad when the closest thing you can find to a friend is an apparition of the kid you were convicted of killing.
As you can imagine, there are lots of good characters and interplays between inmates. Well, good as in perhaps fun to read, not as in “good people”. Its a different atmosphere, and one were the most conniving seem to thrive, and we definitely get to see a lot of the darker side of human nature in this book. The fantastical elements of this really come in to play more later in the book. Before then it is more a creepy, ghostly mystery. I honestly feel like my only real complaint is that it took me longer to than I would have preferred. Maybe this is just because it is so different from The Girl With All the Gifts. But by the time I was hooked, I honestly could not remember why I wasn’t instantly hooked because it does get extremely good.
The narration was well done, capturing the emotion and tension throughout without ever feeling over the top. Definitely recommend.