Written by Alice LaPlante

Review written by Kirstie Long

A fanatical book reader, Kirstie has works hard to fit the ‘evil day job’ of Financial regulation around her passion of writing, promoting writers of all genres and encouraging more people to read books. Kirstie is the News and Events Co-ordinator for Shots.

Harvil Secker
RRP: £12.99
Released: 7th July 2011

This book is not the type I would pick up and choose to read, but having been asked to interview the writer, I sat down to read it. It is the most disturbing piece of outstanding literary fiction which, whilst I could not say I enjoyed, is a must read.


Turn of Mind is a murder mystery narrated by its main character, Jennifer White, who is suffering from Alzheimer’s. A now retired brilliant hand surgeon, Jennifer now longer remembers her days and the book alternates between excerpts from the daily journal she keeps so remind herself of the previous days and her own musings of the dreaded disease that takes away all that is precious to her.


Her best friend, Amanda, has been found dead with four of her fingers removed and Jennifer is the main suspect. She cannot remember the death on many occasions, and yet on others has complete clarity. The Police are convinced of her guilt and the main investigator uses both sympathy, understanding whilst exhibiting a brow beating style to attain the information she wants to close the case. Jennifer’s children are also central; a son and daughter with their own demons who battle through the frustration of loosing their mother whilst she is still there and the love that cannot be hidden.


The murder mystery is solved at the end, but the actual end is not what matters at that point. You have just read through the feelings of an intelligent and often unlikable woman, whose mind is being destroyed, taking her dignity with it and yet having to accept the humiliation of the treatment her behaviour warrants whilst knowing it is happening. Alternating between wishing she did not understand and the will to maintain anything of her previous life, Jennifer paints a far too realistic picture of the torment she is suffering.


A truly outstanding debut and piece of literary fiction, that is not for the faint hearted or where it may hit close to home. 

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