The Sleeping Season by Kelly Creighton #BookReview #BlogTour

Someone going missing is not an event in their life but an indicator of a problem.

Detective Inspector Harriet Sloane is plagued by nightmares while someone from her past watches from a distance. In East Belfast, local four-year-old River, vanishes from his room.

Sloane must put her own demons to bed and find the boy. Before it’s too late.

It's my pleasure to be hosting the blog tour for The Sleeping Season today. Many thanks to Kelly Creighton and Friday Press for inviting me and for my advance copy of the novel.

The Sleeping Season is the first book in Kelly Creighton's DI Sloane series but to describe it as a police procedural would be inaccurate; this is literary crime fiction and is a slow burner of a story which is as much about the main protagonist's life as it is the case she is working on.
That case is the investigation into the disappearance of a four-year-old boy, River who has disappeared from his room despite no evidence of a forced entry - the only clue being that his coat has also vanished. DI Harriet - Harry - Sloane and her partner, DI Diane Linskey initially welcome the opportunity to get out from behind their desks but this proves to be a case which tests both their investigative skills and their emotional resolve to the limit. Set in East Belfast, the sense of community is tempered by the inevitable, almost eager interest that arises in a neighbourhood when a major investigation is centred there. River's mother, Zara appears to have the support of the street but as the novel progresses, it becomes evident that she hasn't always been on the best terms with those around her and indeed her account of her life with her son is frequently unreliable.
This is a story where none of the characters are particularly likeable, but are always interesting and that includes Harry. She is an emotionally distant woman who clearly has a thorny relationship with her own family. The main storyline is interrupted throughout by a meandering, convoluted narrative which slowly reveals more about her past and explains why she seems to struggle to form lasting bonds with those around her. Coming from a fairly large family, what is notably striking is that although several them entered professions which involve working with members of the public, on the whole they don't appear to be warm or nurturing. Harry followed her father into the police force but although she meets him regularly, they seem more comfortable discussing her case that they do confronting their family's issues, particularly regarding Harry's oldest brother, Brooks who is clearly the black sheep of the family. Harry's mother is in a home, the reason is revealed as the book progresses and again gives an insight into why Harry apparently eschews marriage and especially motherhood.
The Sleeping Season offers an unsentimental exploration into the role of women and principally mothers throughout; Harry's traumatic past haunts her dreams and Zara is a strangely complex woman who seems to have been overly controlling of her son's life while also being reticent to always acknowledge his behavioural and health issues. Although their paths have taken them along different routes, there are similarities between Harry and Zara, with neither really living up to society's expectations of what women should be.
River's disappearance is what has brought them together and it proves to be an almost impenetrable mystery where it's never certain if anybody can be trusted and the finger of suspicion could point to any number of people, including the local paedophile, Donald. There aren't really any moments of high tension here or scenes which set my heart racing. Instead this is a gritty, honest look at the darker secrets which people carry with them. It's not always an easy read but there is an almost poetic beauty to the language which meant I couldn't help but be drawn into this poignant, complex novel. This is an accomplished, compelling start to a series -  I'm looking forward to reading more. 

The Sleeping Season is published by Friday Press today and can be purchased from Amazon UK,

Don't miss the rest of the blog tour, details are below.

About the Author

Kelly Creighton was born in Belfast and now lives in Newtownards, Co. Down with her three dogs, two daughters, two sons and one husband. She facilitates creative writing workshops for community groups and schools, and mentors new writers.
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