Title: Six Wicked Reasons
Author: Jo Spain
Publisher: Quercus Books
Date of publication: January 2020
Format read: Advance Proof copy
Number of pages: 432
It’s June 2008 and twenty-one-year-old Adam Lattimer vanishes, presumed dead. The strain of his disappearance breaks his already fragile family.
Ten years later, with his mother deceased and siblings scattered across the globe, Adam turns up unannounced at the family home. His siblings return reluctantly to Spanish Cove, but Adam’s reappearance poses more questions than answers. The past is a tangled web of deceit.
And, as tension builds, it’s apparent somebody has planned murderous revenge for the events of ten years ago.
There are no power strong enough on this earth to prevent me from rushing to read Jo Spain’s books. I became an instant fan last year, when Dirty Little Secrets turned from my first book of the year to my favourite of 2019 in only a few pages. Imagine the anticipation running through my veins as I began reading Six Wicked Reasons.
The Lattimers. What a bunch!!! Did I like them? Did I feel for them? It all came and went in waves. You know how you can love someone with all your heart and be mad at them? Be in good terms with a colleague and loathe them once you discover something? We human have a delicious and humongous scale of appreciation of others and things, and mine kept going up and down as I got to know the family.
Jo Spain’s genius (or part of it) lies in the fact she doesn’t create one-dimensional characters. The names and bodies trapped in her pages act and react, and their likeability evolves as events unfold. I love this. Talk about mirroring life!
Six Wicked Reasons jumps back and forth between 2008 and the present, the ‘before’ and ‘after’ Adam’s disappearance. Adam is one of the Lattimer siblings. Born under the same roof, they are all so different it is sometimes difficult to remember they are blood related. But the author reminds us that growing up together creates bonds that no blood or time can erase. From one point of view to another, you get untold truths and secrets, hidden emotions, as well as cunning observations of each member of the family. The perception each of the Lattimer has of the others is sublime, heart-breaking, and so heavy! The past is hanging over their head and won’t let go. Years may have passed but feelings have been simmering slowly, only to come and boil when everyone is reunited. Explosive and deadly, the Lattimers reunion to celebrate Adam’s reappearance after ten years doesn’t look like the happy gatherings photographs capture. Far from it.
Six siblings and a controlling father. Their different ways of coping with the man who raised them says a lot about their personalities and Jo Spain scraps every inch of their inner sanctum, digging until the bare surface is rid of a place to hide.
One weekend to celebrate. One revenant. One dead. But who?
I loved how I was so immersed in the family drama that the tension had all the time in the world to creep in on me without me realising it. Everyone has skeletons in the closet, and a strong wind of revenge opens all the door, exposing motives, flaws, and wicked reasons for everyone to appear to be the perfect suspect.
Despite a small list of possible culprits, the twists made sure a chapter would make me assume I had to answer, be ready to shout I had it all figured out, only to send me waves of doubts with the next page!
Jo Spain in an extraordinary storyteller. Six Wicked Reasons is a slow burner which ignited such deep emotions in me that I will keep the scar of the Lattimers on my skin for a long time!
You can find the book here
Jo Spain’s first novel, top ten bestseller With our Blessing, was one of seven finalists in the Richard and Judy Search for a Bestseller Competition. It was named as an Irish Times crime fiction book of the year by Declan Burke. Beneath the Surface (2016) and Sleeping Beauties (2017), the second and third in the DI Tom Reynolds series followed, to further critical acclaim. Her standalone thriller, The Confession, released in January 2018, became a number one bestseller and sold in multiple territories. Jo is releasing the fourth Tom Reynolds, The Darkest Place, in 2018 and a new standalone Dirty Little Secrets in 2019.
Jo also writes for TV and is the co-writer of new series Taken Down.
A graduate of Trinity College Dublin, Jo lives in Dublin with her husband and their four young children. Jo previously worked as a policy advisor in the Irish parliament and as vice-chair of the business body InterTrade Ireland.
Jo’s debut novel is set against a background of the infamous Irish Magdalene Laundries and Mother and Baby homes. The author’s own father was born in one such home in Dublin and the novel’s backdrop was constructed based on the in-depth research she undertook while attempting to trace her family roots.
Her favourite writers include Pierre LeMaitre, Fred Vargas, Louise Penny, Jo Nesbo, Ann Cleeves, B.A. Paris, Elizabeth Haynes and Agatha Christie.