It opens in 2012 but quickly jumps to almost a year later and then the action continues over the next forty days. It includes flashbacks too. The plot was cleverly constructed with a jaw dropping end.
The novel follows a group of friends who are loosely connected together as they holiday in Mallorca one summer. Every now and again the action returns to Belfast, the home of the lead character.
There is the topic of dementia. The reader witnesses the rapid decline of a character – seeing the condition from the point of view of both the character and those witnessing it.
There is also a growing obsession that began much earlier. An obsession that the reader sees brewing whilst the characters seem oblivious to it.
The characters seem to have a superficial outlook on life, being concerned with money, power and appearances. “Financial success and money in the bank were considered… as indicators of greatness.” The main thing they wanted to know was “What do you do, how much are you worth and do you know anyone interesting?” This attitude contrasted sharply with those in Belfast who were far less worldly and had one eye on both others and eternity.
Grief is a major theme throughout. “His body did not pump blood but liquid pain.” Grief can be all consuming. It has no time limit. Life will never be the same again.
The Secret Wound was a compulsive read. It was cleverly constructed and held my interest. I could not predict where the novel was leading and literally gasped out loud at times. I shall be hunting out more by Deirdre Quiery.
I received this book for free. A favourable review was not required and all views expressed are my own.