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Weirdo by Cathi Unsworth

Just from the title this book grabbed me. Weirdo. Who is this weirdo? Why are they a weirdo? I seem to just like the word weirdo, but I’ll stop now. Once I got past the front cover however, I couldn’t put the book down.

Set in the fictional town of Ernemouth, the story flits between the years of 1983-84 where a teenager is murdered and 2003 when private investigator Sean Ward arrives to re-examine the case. The chapters of the past introduce the convicted girl Corrine Woodrow and her misfit bunch of friends. The mix of teen punks and rockers against their opposing adults in the form of parents and police was interesting to read. I love how the author describes all the 80s styles the characters go through and captures the teen angst of the era beautifully.

Meanwhile in 2003 I also took a shine to Sean Ward. I usually find leading police characters to be a bit samey – slightly depressive and angry with the world, and a bit too clever for their own good. But I find Sean Ward to be realistically sound minded and logical, which I liked.
This novel builds up layers of mystery and reveals them gradually which makes the pages almost turn by themselves. This was a captivating read, and is surely a TV adaptation waiting to happen.

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