I had the opposite reaction. Couldn't stand it and thought the kid tactic was underdone and tepid. You Magazine has better written stories in the "Life Story" section where they take an extract - usually a story like this one, or a dead body buried in trailer park garden, or Mum burnt my skin with iron vibe.
I thought it was very good. I had no difficulty accepting the boy's voice, and the first half dragged me along in a physically engaging way that I haven't felt in a long time. I was literally - yes! - breathless and palpitating when I reached that first crescendo.
And, yes, it was more about motherhood and childhood than about the evil outsider. Donohue deliberately set that focus because she feels that evil is often pruriently celebrated in crime fiction.
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