Saturday, 14 May 2016

Review - The Teacher by Katerina Diamond

When I first heard about The Teacher by Katerina Diamond I was instantly intrigued and couldn’t wait to get my hands on a copy which I did incredibly quickly. Before picking up the book I’d seen a lot of reviews for it and admit that I was left feeling unsure about reading it. However, I’m not someone who likes to be influenced by the opinions of others and prefer to form my own judgement on things so started it last week. I made it through the whole book and whilst I wouldn’t say it was pleasant or easy reading I thought it was well-written. 

The Teacher starts with the headmaster of a private school receiving a book through the post that he knows the significance of and which subsequently leads him to start panicking, fearing the end is near and that someone from his past has returned to get him. Shortly after this he is found hanging in the school hall, but more deaths are to follow and it’s up to Detectives Adrian Miles and Imogen Grey to get to the bottom of the murders - who is responsible for these horrific and numerous deaths and what is their motive for doing so? 

I knew this book was going to be gory and although I’m an avid reader of psychological fiction, I’m not so keen on horror so the gore was something I was very worried about. The worst part in terms of gore for me was near the start of the book, which I quickly skimmed over and quickly put to the back of my mind. I’d actually encourage any other reader to do the same and stick with this book as the actual investigation and detective side of the story is fantastically executed and there are a number of major twists and turns. 

The book itself is told from the viewpoint of several different characters, the stories of whom all come together in the end in a way I was not expecting. The narratives of each of the characters are  quite short which means that you don’t really get to know any of them but for me this added to the tension that is present throughout the entire novel. The only characters you ever really get to know in the novel and spend any great deal of time with are the two detectives - Adrian Miles and Imogen Grey - who both had bad histories but who both came together to crack the case and who I both warmed to as the novel progressed. We also get to know the character of Abbey who plays a vital and totally unexpected role in the book that I had absolutely no chance of predicting. 

This was a book that was completely unlike anything I’ve ever read before and certainly lives up to the hype that I’ve seen surrounding it on all forms of social media. Katerina Diamond most certainly knows how to write a detective story the plot of which was extremely intricate and well thought-through. I’m not sure what Katerina Diamond has up her sleeve to shock and surprise us with next but I will most certainly give it a chance and hope that we’ll be reunited with the detectives from The Teacher in the future to see where their work takes them to next.