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SA Partridge

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

A librarian reviews Dark Poppy’s Demise

Last month, a librarian interviewed me about my new book Dark Poppy’s Demise. Now, the very same librarian, Rudi Wicomb from Southfield Library, has kindly posted a review on Goodreads.

Its a thriller, its a thriller, its a thriller. But its also something else, and I can’t figure out what though. (Hence the mantra.)

You have the trappings of a thriller, the victim, the predator, the slow build up (where you basically screaming at the character to run like hell cos he’s going to kill you and wear your skin like a coat) and then the inevitable climax (that singes the small hairs off the back of you neck, or the crack the signals the first snows breaking away from the mountain and heading straight to you).

But its more than just a thriller.

When the main character, Jenna, makes that first contact with her new guy Robert, her reactions and words are grounded in a reality that is very relatable. Too relatable.The butterflies in my stomach where starting to flutter even at that point already.

(Perhaps because I’ve seen guys be that smooth and I wanted to punch their faces in because the penny would have to drop sooner or later.) And its set in South Africa, which according to UN statistics is one of the most violent countries in the world. So a young girl making a connection on the Internet and letting that person into their life doesn’t bode particularly well under normal circumstances, add the awareness of Location and it adds another level to the tenseness (The butterflies become flesh eating ants.)

Miss Partridge imbues her climax with such viciousness that it feels like a body blow. Its a testament to her writing prowess that she makes Jenna a thorough pain of a character and yet we are still rooting for her when it counts. (Being deliberately vague because of Spoilers, sweetie.)

That’s perhaps what is tripping me up here. Its a thriller but it can be, in this time and place, real life.

And its a testament to Ms Partridge that like Frankenstein she created ‘real life’ so vividly and like real life what happens in Dark Poppy, truly matters.

Read the review on Goodreads.


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