Publisher: Canongate Books
Audiobook: Blackstone Audio
Narrator: Chris Patton
Date of publication: June 2012
“I did what I did, and that’s on me.” From that tantalizing first sentence, Tom Wright sweeps us up in a tale of lost innocence. Jim has a touch of the Sight. It’s nothing too spooky and generally useless, at least until the summer his cousin L.A. moves in with him and their grandmother. When Jim and L.A. discover the body of a girl, brutally raped and murdered in a field, an investigation begins that will put both their lives in danger.
Innocence...that is the answer...at least I think it is. What Dies in Summer is told from Tom's point of view. He tells us of the summer when he and his cousin find a dead body and what happens next. He also tells us a whole bunch of stuff that just seemed irrelevant to the story. I liked Tom's character. For a teenager, he is a pretty good kid, but he is also very innocent. That is what makes this book good. It is the story of how he learns more about the world. The sad part is the way in which he learns how harsh reality can be. The other characters were well written and enhanced the story. I especially liked his grandmother.
I have mixed feelings about this book. I think, ultimately, I did like the book. I just think it was longer than it needed to be. Parts of Tom's tale seem to ramble and I found my mind wandering as I listened. I was surprised by the reveal of the killer and the mystery was interesting. I hated the ending though. I just felt like I was left hanging and wasn't happy with where the author left the characters.
The audiobook was well done. It's worth a listen. This is the debut book for this author. I'll be interested to see what he comes up with next.