Void by David Staniforth
Void by David Staniforth is a psychological thriller. It is a story of amnesia, but taken to a different level.
Let me start by thanking David for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I always feel that takes a lot of guts on the part of the author. But David has nothing to fear. Not sure I’ll do it justice.
Imagine waking up in a very cold car. You look around and don’t know where you are. Then you realize you don’t know WHO you are. Is this even your car? Fear and panic rule. Once you calm, you search the glove box of the car, hoping for some kind of identification. You find a pen and a lilac-coloured journal with the name Tom on it. Is that you? Are you Tom? Further exploration turns up a picture of a girl you don’t recognize, inscribed with the name Penny, and another one of a man. You look in the mirror, and that man is you. There is a note that tells you to please read the journal. You aren’t sure you want to. When you do, you find that you wrote the journal entries. You discover that this happens every year in January. You end up in this car, alone, confused, and scared. The journal’s existence is supposed to help you remember. Do you trust the journal? Do you trust the memories? Or are you inventing the whole thing as you go along? Do you trust yourself?
Meanwhile, Penny does exist, and is going through her own hell. Where is Tom? Is he coming back? Is he okay? How well does she really know him?
This is the story of self-discovery. About bringing the past out into the open, instead of burying it behind imaginary walls in your mind. It is about being brave enough to find that truth.
I loved the characters in this book. As the points of view alternate between Tom and Penny, the story unfolds, and we see little clues that guide us. Both of them have a hidden past that eventually comes to light. I also loved Penny’s friend Kaitlyn, who seemed to play devil’s advocate to everything Penny revealed about Tom, and Mrs. Gaskell, who played a wonderful “grandmother” with all the answers.
The characters are rich, the plot is well laid-out, the suspense compelling, and it leaves you thinking. I loved this book!
Note that on David’s website, there is a page dedicated to pictures from the locations where most of Void takes place. I thought that was really cool. I found the page after reading the book, and apparently David’s writing is spot-on, because I recognized everything right away!
Read: April 2017
Favorite Quotes from Void:
The sense of being in the wrong place, with absolutely no idea where the right place might be, is an unnerving feeling that destroys any chance of rational thought.
Perhaps it has more to do with the dip of the road and the heavy stone of the void breathing its frigid death-like breath into the night.
Sitting in the car, looking down into that black void, I feel as if hammers are pounding in my chest.
I suppose everyone shuts out the pain of their past to some extent.
About the Author: David Staniforth has a BA in English studies. His first few books were all fantasy, but has since written a couple of psychological thrillers (Void being one). He lives in England.