In this Shelf Indulgence review I discover a new and exciting voice in crime fiction. Finding truly distinctive voice for your characters is one of the most difficult things to achieve as a writer. Shannon Kirk’s The Method (named Method 15/33 in the US) does just that – introducing a unique voice – that of a pregnant teenage girl, snatched off the street. The standard woman in jeopardy trope, you might think. No. Not at all. Kirk subverts that hoary cliché with humour, inventiveness and panache. Lisa, the “victim”, is just sixteen years old. Faced with a terrifying situation (and there are some highly suspenseful and genuinely frightening moments in this novel) she is likeable, vulnerable and indomitable in a way that always seems entirely plausible. Cool and calculating, despite her vulnerability, Lisa is an ice-cold observer of the people, situations and surroundings she’s thrust into. She is also creative and ruthless in making the best use of the tiny, incremental snippets of information she gleans. What is she? A sociopath? Autistic savant? You decide – I wouldn’t dream of spoiling it for you – but do prepare to have your expectations thwarted in the most enjoyable way.
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