STARRED REVIEW
July 2018

Dark descent

By Tim Wynne-Jones
Review by

Tim Wynne-Jones’ intense new book, The Ruinous Sweep, opens with a car crash, in which teenager Donovan Turner is tossed from a vehicle in the middle of nowhere. Then the narration fast-forwards to a hospital, where a near unconscious Donovan receives treatment following the hit-and-run and his girlfriend, Bee, holds watch and tries to decipher his urgent mumbles.

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Tim Wynne-Jones’ intense new book, The Ruinous Sweep, opens with a car crash, in which teenager Donovan Turner is tossed from a vehicle in the middle of nowhere. Then the narration fast-forwards to a hospital, where a near unconscious Donovan receives treatment following the hit-and-run and his girlfriend, Bee, holds watch and tries to decipher his urgent mumbles.

Shortly after Donovan’s car accident, police inform Bee that her boyfriend is also suspected of murdering his alcoholic father, whose badly beaten body was found lying next to Donovan’s baseball bat. The story’s timeline then begins to alternate between Donovan’s accident and the mystery of his father’s murder, which Bee sets out to investigate. Wynne-Jones introduces a bevy of dark characters and chilling scenarios designed to lead readers to piece together the two puzzles, but while the eerie paths may thrill some, the winding narrative may prove confusing at points.

The Ruinous Sweep is a trip into an underworld filled with drugs, murder and dysfunctional families. Fans of thrillers will find plenty of suspense in this story with vague echoes of Dante’s Inferno. The plot requires a fair amount of heavy lifting and focus, but fans of Wynne-Jones’ previous books and his talent for fabulism may find it worthwhile.

 

This article was originally published in the July 2018 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

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The Ruinous Sweep

The Ruinous Sweep

By Tim Wynne-Jones
Candlewick
ISBN 9780763697457

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