Saturday, February 8, 2014

Reading in 2014 - Plastic

Plastic by Christopher Fowler

Plastic'June Cryer is a shopaholic suburban housewife trapped in a lousy marriage. After discovering her husband’s infidelity with her flight attendant neighbour, Hilary ‘Boarding From The Rear’ Cooper, she loses her home, her husband and her credit rating. • Then her best pal Lou offers a solution; a mutual friend needs someone reliable to act as caretaker in a spectacular London high-rise apartment. It’s just for the weekend, but there’s good money in it… Seizing the opportunity to escape, June moves into the penthouse only to find that there’s no electricity and the phones don’t work. She must flat-sit until the security system comes back on. When a terrified girl breaks into the flat and June makes the mistake of asking the neighbours for help, she finds herself embroiled in an escalating nightmare, trying to prove that a murderer exists. Over the next 24 hours she must survive on the streets without friends or money, solve an impossible crime, and fight off the urge to buy a new wardrobe.'

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I didn't know how to rate this and wasn't sure if it was a 3 or a 4 star read.

This is my first Christopher Fowler book and I picked it up off the 'New books' stand at the local library because the blurb on the back was interesting.

It is a crime thriller but I guess it is also poking fun at the genre in some ways, with a clever take on character and plot. I thought it was a bit far fetched - but then no more so than many of the political thrillers I've read that make you wonder about the dark side of life portrayed in these stories and question the reality of your own sheltered, comfortable life. Or is that just me?

The plot does get a little confusing and I had to go back and re-read chapter one after I finished, just to get things straight in my mind.

I enjoyed it and there are some rather pithy observations of relationships and how people compensate for dissatisfaction with their lives by engaging in self-destructive behaviour rather than fixing the problem. It is also a story about coming-of-age or self-actualisation with a lead character who realises that she has been existing in a vacuum of her own making, rather than living. Hell of a way to make that discovery though!

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