All the Hidden Truths by Claire Askew
This is a book about a school shooting: a teenage boy walks into Three Rivers College and shoots 13 young women dead. He then turns the gun on himself.
This shocking event happens at the start of All the Hidden Truths, and the remainder of the book tries to sort out the emotions and anguish surrounding the shooting as well as try to figure out why Ryan Summers was driven to do such a thing.
There are several female lead characters that play key roles in the book:
Ishbel, Abigail’s mother – Abigail was the first girl to be shot at Three Rivers College
Moira, the mother of the shooter, Ryan Summer
DI Birch, policewoman in charge of the case
They have very different roles in the book and consequently offer different aspects of the shooting. It is through these women that the story unfolds separately, until they finally meet at the conclusion of the book
Some of the story is told through the medium of social media such as tweets, emails or newspaper articles and it holds the press to account. It illuminates how the shooting has effected the community and in turn, how it has responded. I think this aspect adds to the edgy, harrowing feel of the book
I am not sure I would have chosen to read this book on the sunny Sunday morning, I did as it is fairly grim both in subject matter and narrative. However, it turned out to be a compelling read that I finished in one sitting.