CRUSHED, by Kate Hamer, Faber & Faber


‘Mesmerising, compulsive, deliciously dark – and so good on the complex and thorny bond between friends. Kate Hamer’s writing is incandescent.’ Lucy Foley, author of The Hunting Party
Phoebe stands on Pulteney Bridge, tights gashed from toe to thigh. The shock of mangled metal and blood-stained walls flashes through her mind as she tries to cover her face so she won’t be recognised. It wouldn’t do to be spotted looking like this. She’s missing a shoe. She feels sick.

Phoebe thought murder and murder happened. Thoughts are just thoughts, they said. Now she knows they were wrong.

At home, Phoebe arranges the scissors and knives so they point toward her mother’s room. She is exhausted, making sure there’s no trace of herself – not a single hair, not even her scent – left anywhere in the house. She must not let her thoughts unravel, because if they do, there’s no telling who might be caught in the crossfire, and Phoebe will have to live with the consequences.

Out May 2019



I received this book in exchange for my honest review.

This is a dark, very dark, psychological, complicated story that  shows how family life can greatly affect relationships our children have outside the family circle. Although immersive and deep, I struggled with all the characters. I especially wanted to smack the mothers of the three girls for not doing their jobs right.  There’s a twisted and toxic element that rides the story either in the background, or, full-blown out front for all to drown in it.

This is not a ‘feel good’ book. You’ll want a happy mental shower to wash the “ick” factor from your brain.

Issues of anxiety and adaptation are covered and the effects of dysfunctional family dynamics used extensively as part of the plot that drives this story forward.

The pacing is fast and effective. Sub-plots are everywhere but they work well. Overall, I was exhausted after reading this novel. The author did a good job getting me that way. This is a writing style that I never wish to try and give those who do all types of kudos because of the  work that must go into making them successful.

I can  see Kate Hamer writing  another. She seems to thrive in this style.

I gave the  book:


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