Book Review: The String Diaries

The String DiariesThe String Diaries by Stephen Lloyd Jones

The blurb: A jumble of entries, written in different hands, different languages, and different times. They tell of a rumour. A shadow. A killer.

The only interest that Oxford Professor Charles Meredith has in the diaries is as a record of Hungarian folklore … until he comes face to face with a myth.

For Hannah Wilde, the diaries are a survival guide that taught her the three rules she lives by: verify everyone, trust no one, and if in any doubt, run.

But Hannah knows that if her daughter is ever going to be safe, she will have to stop running and face the terror that has hunted her family for five generations.

And nothing in the diaries can prepare her for that.

My review: Woah.

This book haunted me whilst reading it. Stephen Lloyd Jones is a master of the cliff-hanger. Every chapter is consuming and page-turning, short and snappy, until you reach the end and you’re left reeling as to whether characters will live or die.

This book grabs you by the throat and refuses to let go from page one! Not many books have that ability and are able to sustain that level of tension throughout a novel –  The String Diaries is a worthy exception. With reasonably short chapters the story runs along a pace and tells interweaving stories set across different time periods. Each narrative strand helps inform the others until you are left with a complete picture of the trauma and obsession that drives the characters.

Very cleverly done, The String Diaries maintains a level of ambiguity with Jakab right until the last page. I was torn throughout most of the book as to whether he was wholly bad or not. Hannah is a fantastic character, a strong woman who has dealt with a legacy of blood throughout her family history but attempts to remain resilient for her daughter. Nate was also a character I warmed to immediately.

Really fantastic, I am going to be recommending this to everyone I know!

9.5 out of 10 stars! *********.5

BUY ME! The String Diaries

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