Two Mystery Reads: Do Not Become Alarmed and The Clocks*

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* Thank you to Penguin Viking for sending me a copy of Do Not Become Alarmed for review *

Ooh, I do love a mystery. Here are two *mysterious* reads I've had the experience of reading recently. An oldie, and a newie. But which had the strongest impression on me?

The Clocks by Agatha Christie
The marvellous hardback Collins edition has been sitting on my shelves since university after finding it in a secondhand bookshop. Honestly, it has a rather moldy smell, rather than that lovely old book smell. In The Clocks, a young typist is called to the house of a blind lady to work for her, only to stumble upon a dead body (classic Christie) and an irregular amount of clocks, only two of which belong to the homeowner. What's bizarre about this Poirot mystery is that Poirot is only present for a very, very small portion of the book, acting as an almost Sherlock-consulting-detective figure. Instead we follow Inspector Hardcastle and Colin Lamb, two characters I spent the whole book trying to tell apart. I enjoyed the mystery of this book, which followed the classic Christie pattern, but unfortunately was a little let down by the conclusion. However I am interested in watching an adaptation of this one!

Do Not Become Alarmed by Maile Meloy*
Two families go on a cruise and all of the children go missing. CHILLING AND INTRIGUING. Unlike what I expected, the children actually go missing when the groups take an excursion to the mainland, rather than disappearing on-deck a la Flightplan. Actually, that's my fault for not reading the blurb properly. Moving on, this book was good. This book was really good, and I'll be honest again here: I wasn't expecting it to be good. I don't read contemporary mysteries or thrillers. I chronically expect them to be bad, but Do Not Become Alarmed was really, really interesting. We're told the story from the perspective of the parents and the children who go missing, which adds an interesting dimension to the story as we know from the beginning why they're missing and what happened. I was pleasantly surprised by the voices Meloy gave to the children, making them interesting and intelligent, but also believable as children, with their combination of fear and excitement about what is happening to them.


Do Not Become Alarmed is released on 6th July by Penguin Viking (paperback, £8.99).

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