Book reviews, Dystopian fiction, Thriller

The Disappeared by Amy Lord – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB

Winner of a Northern Writers’ Award

Longlisted for The Bath Novel Award

What if reading the wrong book could get you arrested?

In a decaying city controlled by the First General and his army, expressing the wrong opinion can have terrible consequences. Clara Winter knows this better than anyone. When she was a child, her father was taken by the Authorisation Bureau for the crime of teaching banned books to his students. She is still haunted by his disappearance.

Now Clara teaches at the same university, determined to rebel against the regime that cost her family so much – and her weapons are the banned books her father left behind. But she has started something dangerous, something that brings her to the attention of the Authorisation Bureau and its most feared interrogator, Major Jackson. The same man who arrested Clara’s father.

With her rights stripped away, in a country where democracy has been replaced with something more sinister, will she be the next one to disappear?

‘Provocative and prescient,  The Disappeared is an unflinching tale of resistance in dark political times. Set in a near-future Britain where books are banned, this is a thought-provoking dystopian debut.’ –  Caroline Ambrose, Founder of The Bath Novel Award.

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MY REVIEW

Set in the U.K in the near future, Clara is haunted by the arrest of her father, Matthew,  by agents of the Authorisation Bureau and Major Darius Jackson. He has disappeared.

Major Jackson becomes besotted by Clara’s mother, Lucia and to keep her family safe, she has her marriage to Matthew annulled and marries Darius. A violent, evil man to say the least.

The government controls what books can be read, or taught, that free thinking is dangerous and so just owning banned books is enough to be arrested.

As Clara grows, literature is her passion and like her father, she becomes a teacher. She meets and falls in love with Simon, and together they begin teaching a few select students from the banned books…will they be found out? Or will they too disappear?

This is a fraught, dystopian tale (reminiscent of George Orwell’s 1984, which does get a mention) that feels all too real in the current political climate of ‘fake’ news and hate.

This is full of fear, violence and tension, but also love and hope. Compelling and disconcerting writing by Amy Lord. A thought provoking read… I loved every minute…..

Thank you to Anne Cater and Random Things Tours for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free ecopy of the book  in exchange for my honest, unbiased review.

My thanks also to Pigeonhole for the opportunity to read along with them.

You can buy a copy here (click on the image)

About the author

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Amy Lord is a writer, blogger and digital marketer from North East England. She won a Northern Writers’ Award in 2015 for The Disappeared and was also longlisted in the inaugural Bath Novel Award. An earlier manuscript saw her shortlisted for Route Publishing’s Next Great Novelist Award. She blogs about books, writing, travel and life in the North East at Ten Penny Dreams, which won Best Arts and Culture Blog in the Northern Blog Awards. Amy is currently working on a new novel, which was developed as part of a year-long mentoring scheme with Writers’ Block NE.

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