Throwback Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by Renee at It’s Book Talk. Throwback Thursday was designed as an opportunity to share old favorites as well as older books in our TBR. As I started reviewing on Goodreads long before I started my blog, it seemed a great way of sharing my earlier reviews (which I hope have improved since the early days).
So this week I’m revisiting This Little Piggy by Bea Davenport – first reviewed in December 2014.
It’s the summer of 1984 and there is a sense of unease on the troubled Sweetmeadows estate. The residents are in shock after the suspicious death of a baby and tension is growing due to the ongoing miners’ strike.
Journalist Clare Jackson follows the story as police bungle the inquiry and struggle to contain the escalating violence. Haunted by a personal trauma she can’t face up to, Clare is shadowed by nine-year-old Amy, a bright but neglected little girl who seems to know more about the incident than she’s letting on.
As the days go on and the killer is not found, Clare ignores warnings not to get too close to her stories and, in doing so, puts her own life in jeopardy.
This Little Piggy is a great read that engages you from the beginning and keeps the momentum up until the end. Set against the backdrop of a troubled North East housing estate during the miners strike of the 1980’s. Claire Jackson is a reporter following the suspicious death of a 9 month old baby.
There are a number of strands to the novel that maintain the interest over and above the search for the child’s killer. What is the unspoken reason for Claire failing to attend for interview which means she was passed over for promotion? What is the truth about the enigmatic and mysterious Finn, the newly appointed Head of the Miners Union? What really happened at the Police station that resulted in the death of an innocent suspect? Why does Claire allow herself to become involved with Amy, a young 9-year-old girl from the estate who claims to know what happened? What is the nature of her relationship with Joe (the photographer)?
It was interesting to see how the case develops from a viewpoint other than a traditional police procedural angle. Seeing how the search for the possible killer develops through the eyes of those reporting as well as those living on the estate offers a viewpoint often lost and makes the story more human. Again seeing the Miner’s Strike and its’ effects reported on from the inside offers a balance to the oft reported media and government viewpoint that those of us who remember it were fed at the time.
Claire is a very likeable character, and the depiction of a reporters’ life is a less than glamorous one that depends on hard work and dedication – something that Claire and her photographer colleague have in spades.
I did have an idea of who was responsible from quite early on, but that did not spoil the enjoyment as I still wanted to know how and why, as well as wanting answers to all the other strands running through the book. I am more than happy to recommend this book, it was a good read and I’ll be looking out for more from Bea Davenport.
I received a copy of this book via NetGalley in return for an honest review.