Friday, November 21, 2014

This Little Piggy by Bea Davenport

This is a psychological thriller beyond belief!

In 1984, the coal miners of Britain went on a strike that eventually would take two to three generations to recover from.

Clare Jackson is a reporter who missed a promotion due to personal reasons and had to recover from both events happening simultaneously while being sent on an investigation into the death of a nine month old baby, Jamie, on the housing estate where many of the miners resided.

She is a reporter for a local newspaper in the North East of Britain and basically acted as a one-man-band who never stopped for anything, as long as she could prove that she was the better choice for the promotion and shame her bosses.

She meets Amy, a little girl in the dilapidated flats, who had many stories to tell, some were fact and some fiction, and could not share everything she knew with the people around her. Nobody wanted to believe her.

Amy's situation spurred Clare on to become more than just a reporter. She instinctively wanted to protect and nurture the little girl despite warnings from her friends to stay away and stop her unprofessional attachment to 'a story'. But Clare was convinced that she could help Amy to become the adult she would like to be. She did not want to disappoint a little girl who had nobody else to take her hand and believe in her. 

Clare became Amy's first real friend; a person she could trust. With Clare, being in the emotional state she was, combined with the psychological connection she felt she had with Amy, events started very soon to spiral out of total control for everyone involved. Clare related to Amy's situation. She was another statistic in the same column of history than Amy. She is an older version. She simply understood. 

With her own unresolved issues influencing her actions, Clare tried to cover the human story of the baby, while also reporting on the situation behind the picket line where miners and police were increasingly moving into a volatile situation.

While being a walk down memory lane for us who remembered the strikes and its profound aftermath, this book also exposed human behavioral patterns which are not only possible, but scary as hell.

This is the second book I read of the author. The first one was 
In Too Deep .

Both books have the same theme of little girls who were ostricised, rejected, socially isolated by their peer groups for different reasons. The effect it had on them manifested itself in their later relationships and actions.

I was so impressed with Bea Davenport's first novel, that I recommended it to many many people who love this genre. It is still one of the best books in this stable that I have read. This Little Piggy, with its powerful plot; various strong support characters; constant, relentless, and never-ending suspense; detailed and vicious psychosomatic, as well as somatopsychic undercurrent, is a brilliant second try for a seasoned journalist in her own right. It is just as much a strong historical fiction-candidate as it is a psychological thriller

My goodness, what a story! It was simply brilliant.

The review copy was provided by Legend Press via Netgalley. THANK YOU for this wonderful opportunity.


It’s the summer of 1984 and there is a sense of unease on the troubled Sweetmeadows estate. The residents are in shock after the suspicious death of a baby and tension is growing due to the ongoing miners’ strike. Journalist Clare Jackson follows the story as police botch the inquiry and struggle to contain the escalating violence. Haunted by a personal trauma she can’t face up to, Clare is shadowed by nine-year-old Amy, a bright but neglected little girl who seems to know more about the incident than she’s letting on. As the days go on and the killer is not found, Clare ignores warnings not to get too close to her stories and in doing so, puts her own life in jeopardy.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR (Goodreads bio): 

Bea Davenport is the writing name of former print and broadcast journalist Barbara Henderson.Her first crime/suspense novel, In Too Deep, was a runner-up in the Luke Bitmead Bursary and is published by Legend Press on 1st June 2013. Bea spent many years as a newspaper reporter and latterly seventeen years as a senior broadcast journalist with the BBC in the north-east of England. She has a Creative Writing PhD from Newcastle University where she studied under the supervision of award-winning writer Jackie Kay and renowned literature expert Professor Kim Reynolds. The children's novel produced as part of the PhD, The Serpent House, was shortlisted for the 2010 Times/Chicken House Award and Bea has also won several prizes for short stories. Originally from Tyneside, she lives in Berwick-upon-Tweed with her partner and children. 


Genres: Psychological drama, Historical fiction, Suspense, Thriller, Murder Mystery

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