Sometimes I struggle to think of the appropriate superlative to describe a book, and I'm afraid that this is one of those times. I can think of many, just not one that accurately reflects my emotions as I finish Little Deaths. I do so wish though that I could change the story of Frank Jr. and Cindy, all I wanted was to take them home and love and nurture them.

For some reason I took a dislike to Ruth at the start, I don't know why, but I can tell you that it clouded my judgement towards her throughout. As a result I wasn't really ever convinced she was telling the truth that was presented to us towards the start of the book. But whilst I did desperately want to know the real story behind the disappearance of the children, I was totally and utterly absorbed with the story of Ruth and the supporting characters. They were certainly a shady bunch too, seemingly each with their own secret and burden they wanted to keep hidden.

We're presented with the murky world of Wonicke and his responsibilities in delivering newspaper reports about the unfolding story. Whether his desire to make a reputation for himself in the media of New York, would cloud the boundary between reporting the truth and creating the salacious gossip that sells copies. It does serve to show how the media can conduct its own trial before the legal justice system even gets underway; obviously this being illustrated to us every week on those newspaper stands. I give to you The Daily Mail to name just one!

Then there's Devlin, the cop in charge, what are his motives? His disapproval of Ruth and her refusal to commit to his vision of an innocent woman seems to totally cloud his judgement. Not exactly a charge of being blindsided, more as trying to cut the jigsaw to make it fit together. And finally the cast of mostly unnamed people who conduct their own trial through gossip and disdain. Could Ruth ever be given a fair trial with the verdict already so clear in their minds?

Little Deaths is a good examination of all of these influences which lead us to judge others prematurely with our own prejudices. It's a very clever novel that weaves lots of different expectations and responses to what is essentially a very simple story. I was totally absorbed by it, and I found myself holding my breath on several occasions. It certainly made me very thankful, as I always am, for the healthy, gorgeous 3-year-old that was company as I read the story.

Little Deaths is published on 12th January 2017 - pre-order it now.