This is my 10th book review, and sadly it’s probably the book I have enjoyed the least.
If I was to describe the overwhelming thought while reading The Valley by John Renehan it would be “I’m so confused”.
I must admit, I’m probably not quite the target audience for this book, so I’ll try and offer a more neutral review as I’m sure others would be very interested in it.
The first issue for me was probably the characters. This book is based on a military base with a lot of characters interacting within it. All known by surname. I’m struggling to tell the difference between some of the cannon-fodder characters. I’m more confident on about 5 of those mentioned, the rest are more passengers that I struggle to follow.
The book is centred on a military investigation. It is reported this is to do with the killing of a goat, but as the book continues it becomes clear there is more going on under the surface. There’s tension in the US base as well as with the village.
This scenario where you’re not quite sure who you can trust is probably part of the reason why I am confused.
The book probably also appeals to people who like books that have a strong detail on the landscape and area. I don’t think I’ve ever read a book that mentions “fog” quite as much. It’s probably valuable for a director who wants to recreate this into a film, but I don’t think I’m visual enough to really follow it too.
I’m sure for some this will be the perfect read, but for me, this was more of a struggle and at around 400 pages, it wasn’t a quick struggle. For my next review, I’ll be reading The Body in the Marsh by Nick Louth.