Improbable, but gripping

The Rook, by Daniel O’Malley (HarperCollins, RRP $37):

Canberra-based author Daniel O’Malley’s debut novel follows the story of Myfanwy Thomas as she tries to recover her memory of her life as something called a Rook, a high-level operative in a secret government agency.

Improbable? Yes. Over the top? Certainly. An enthralling story that will get its hooks into you from the very first page? Of course.

From the opening page, where Myfanwy awakens in a London park surrounded by corpses and a note in her pocket stating ‘Dear You, The body you are wearing used to be mine’, you will be hooked.

From there, she must follow instructions left by her former self to find out who she is and regain her memory and work out who is trying to kill her (and why).

The author has created a vivid world packed full of crazy characters, nasty supernatural forces and above all else, a good dollop of humour.

Time magazine ranked this as No 2 in its list of the top seven books to look out for this year, the only debut novel to make the list. The accolade is well deserved.

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