Fellside by M.R. Carey

I’ve had a bit of a tough month. I’m not going to go into detail, but it felt like everything that could go wrong, did go wrong.  In much the same way I’m sure that people reach for their favourite films when they’re ill, I find myself reaching for books I’ve read many times before, when I’m feeling stressed or run down. 
To this end, Fellside is the only book on my TBR I actually finished in February. Oops. 

I didn’t know much about the book, when I started reading it -the description was quite mysterious- but I knew it was by the author of The Girl With All The Gifts, which I loved. 

From the blurb:

Fellside is a maximum security prison on the edge of the Yorkshire Moors. It’s not the kind of place you’d want to end up. But it’s where Jess Moulson could be spending the rest of her life.
It’s a place where even the walls whisper.
And one voice belongs to a little boy with a message for Jess.
Will she listen?

Jess Moulton is a heroin addict, who has been accused of causing the death of her neighbour, a ten year old boy called Alex Reed. Jess has no memory of setting the fire that caused Alex’s death and the horrendous burns to her and her ex-boyfriend John, but consumed with grief, she sabotages her barrister’s attempt to defend her. 

Jess is sentenced and sent to Fellside, a remote prison on the Yorkshire moors.  Jess decides to end her life, in a hunger strike. Weak, close to death, Jess crosses into the Other Place, where the spirit of a small child asks for her help.  

This book was gripping, creepy, and quite emotional. There is a full supporting cast of prison guards, prisoners, and medical staff. In the background to the ghost story, a drug ring inside the prison pulls Jess into it’s web. Jess gets on the wrong side of the real power inside Fellside, putting several lives in very real danger. 

The book wasn’t quite what I was expecting, but I enjoyed both the supernatural and crime aspects of the story. I highly recommend this book.

I’m also really looking forward to the follow up to The Girl With All The Gifts, which is out this year.

Let me know what you thought of Fellside in the comments below.

Cheerio!

Stephanie

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