British journalist David Higgerson has started a new series, Books by Journalists, on his blog. The first book he features is Mimi Johnson’s Gathering String:
The dark bags under my eyes which several colleagues remarked on last week have nothing to do with a no-excess-spared Christmas, or chasing after an 18-month-old who has discovered that most wrapped boxes contain a present for her for a fortnight. Or, indeed, long miles travelling to relatives while my wife battled through a stomach bug.
No, those bags are entirely due to the book on the right here. You know when you think you don’t have time to read, then start reading a book when you get chance and then everything else that can be put to one side tends to go that way? This is one of those books.
Higgerson offers the most-detailed review yet of Gathering String, spending three paragraphs to explain the three journalist characters and their conflicts. He concludes:
Gathering String, as a novel, is like none I’ve read before in that it spends a long time setting the scene – but the background to the scene it’s setting is fascinating, intriguing and, in itself, a story itself. And once the pieces from the past are clear in the mind the story gallops along, forcing the reader to challenge their thoughts on each character at several points. None leaves the book an unblemished hero – but each has many life-changing decisions to make along the way. …
It’s a long read – but one anyone who enjoys political intrigue told differently should seek out as soon as possible. The fact the plot also deals with the different business models being tested in journalism – and the testing impact that has on journalists – only serves to make it better.
It’s a book which deserves to be read – a book which would more than stand its own in any book chart in any store.
Gathering String also got another 5-star review on Amazon and Twitter Sunday from “Stacey”:
A true page-turner with well-developed characters. So masterfully written that it was as if I was in the room – and in the heads – of the characters. … Can’t wait for her next novel!
Just finished @mimijohnson‘s stellar first novel, Gathering String. I’m still on the edge of my seat. Masterfully written.
— Stacey Viera (@staceyviera) January 6, 2013