Not to be confused with the former Labour politician and novelist of sorts, Curtis Brown Prize-winning author Tom Watson debuts with Metronome, and readers that were impressed by Francine Toon’s chilling Pine or the tense uncertainty of Emma Stonex’s The Lamplighters might enjoy this.
Aina and Whitney have spent 12 years in exile on a croft on a desolate island for committing a crime together: to survive here, they have to take a pill every few hours. Aina keeps herself occupied with gardening or jigsaws, whilst Whitney concentrates on his sculptures or cartography.
Things have been getting strange lately, though, with shipwrecks appearing. Supplies are no longer being dropped by the Warden – and how did a sheep appear from nowhere? On the day Aina and Whitney are supposed to be collected for parole, nobody turns up; communication with the Warden becomes non-existent. Aina starts to question whether Whitney has been telling the whole truth and as she plans her escape she reflects on the chapter of her life that led to being exiled.
What follows is a well-paced, atmospheric and emotional nailbiter of a ride. Metronome has the dystopia of Orwell clashing with the horror of Andrew Michael Hurley, but at the same time remaining original. Highly recommended.
Metronome, Tom Watson (Bloomsbury)
Price: £15.29/£11.99 Ebook. Info: here
words DAVID NOBAKHT
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