There were good people in The Homes. But there were also some very, very bad ones…
A thousand unwanted children live in The Homes, a village of orphans in the Scottish Lowlands on the outskirts of Glasgow. Lesley was six before she learned that most children live with their parents. Now Lesley is twelve, and she and her best friend Jonesy live in Cottage 5, Jonesy the irrepressible spirit to Lesley’s quiet thoughtfulness.
Life is often cruel at The Homes, and suddenly it becomes much crueller. A child is found murdered. Then another. With the police unable to catch the killer, Lesley and Jonesy decide to take the matter into their own hands. But unwanted children are easy victims, and they are both in terrible danger…
Inspired by a true story, and introducing readers to the unforgettable voice of young orphan Lesley, The Homes is a moving and lyrical thriller, perfect for readers of Val McDermid, Chris Whitaker, Jane Casey and Denise Mina.
I couldn’t get enough of this book. After reading the blurb I knew I had to read it.
Set in the outskirts of Glasgow, it wasn’t long before the Scottish accents of the characters were chattering in my head. I’ve never heard of an orphanage being run in this way where so many children live in a cottage with house parents. Knowing that the novel had been inspired by a true story, had left me eager for more and there is more on that at the end of the book and how it all originated which was just as fascinating as the novel itself.
The story is told from the point of view of Lesley who is twelve. In some aspects, it brought a bit of humour to the story as to how a child’s mind works. It was also heart-breaking. Some of the children have never known their parents where as some do but for various reasons find themselves living at The Homes. The friendship between Lesley and Jonesy, Morgan Jones, was especially endearing and it reminded me of what it was like to be at that age.
Whilst it feels a bit like a whodunnit, this was so much more. It isn’t a fast paced crime thriller and even though there are murders, it isn’t gruesome so is an ideal read for young adults as well as those who prefer this genre on a softer level. Even though I am a hardened crime fiction lover, this was so beautifully done and it tugged on my emotions.
The Homes is without a doubt a standout read that will be in my top ten books for 2022. You know how connected you are with a character when you dread reaching the end of the book as you know it means you must say goodbye. Lesley is such an amazing character who I cared about greatly and I know she will stay with me for a long time to come. I don’t think I have ever read a book in this genre that has emotionally connected with me on so many levels. I absolutely adored this book and it is so wonderfully written. I am very excited to read more by the author.
My thanks to Viper Books for an advanced readers copy of this book. All opinions are my own and not biased in anyway.