Investigating Mr Wakefield – Reviews and Reactions

Buzz magazine once again contributed a great review –

‘If the cult hit, Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn left boyfriends and husbands across the globe sleeping with one eye open, Investigating Mr Wakefield by acclaimed scriptwriter Rob Gittins may well leave girlfriends and wives unable to sleep at all.

A pyschological thriller, the book explores the mindset of a man who has become obsessed with knowing what his partner is doing when he’s not there. Written in first person narrative, it cleverly draws a reader in and introduces the paranoid world of protagonist Jack Connolly in a subtle way.

The first few chapters leave a reader emphasising with the war photographer whose career and social life have been blighted because of one naive decision. However, as the pages turn so does the novel’s tone, and it soon becomes clear that this narrator is anything but reliable.’

 

Jack Clothier also posted a great review on the GWales website –

It’s rare that one is presented with such a powerful opportunity to single-mindedly descend into the uncharted depths of one fanatical idea but, in this latest novel, the ultra-talented Rob Gittins has delivered such an invitation on a shimmering silver platter – and you’d be a fool not to accept.

It all starts simply enough: with deception, powerful social issues and the odd accidental murder (sure!)… But these plot points, which flit playfully into the incredibly compelling first half of the novel, soon pale into insignificance when the author really gets going, seizing on a natural disaster to tumble the tome off a cliff into a paranoid world of quasi-real fantasies which deepen in intensity with every rolling paragraph.

And while one could question the sudden freewheeling oil-slick of emotionally troubling outpourings this story delivers after starting in a rather more stoic fashion, it’s an absolutely blistering read. Gittins has adopted a razor-sharp authorial tone, which perfectly resonates with the troubled inner monologue of the unreliable protagonist Jack Connolly and his intensifying obsessions. He has a wonderful knack of taking our previously likeable narrator and, with a deft lexical touch, effortlessly twisting the boundaries of the book until he becomes something far more base and demonic – linked inextricably to a twisted, fairy-tale world that has spawned him.

Can we believe anything he says? Can we believe what has gone before? All we can be sure about is that, through the very real seams of pity, anger, disgust and web of tangled narrative that Gittins creates, the reader is left consistently questioning everything they read – looking out for signs and suggestions of deepening psychological issues in the otherwise recognisable background of ‘real life’.

And while this novel might never be a bestseller (it’s not one for a light read on the beach with Richard and Judy …), it has all the hallmarks in place to be a cult classic, and I couldn’t recommend it highly enough. Exploring sensitive issues of love, loss and the most extreme jealousy – there are elements of all of us in Jack Connolly’s emotional explosion and we’d do well to recognise them before we suffer a fate worse than Mr Wakefield!

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