A while ago I went to the launch party for Edward Hogan's second novel, The Hunger Trace and was very lucky to get a copy of the book. There's something quite majestic about holding a fresh hardback in your hands, more exciting to me than holding a new born baby ...
To the point. Even if I no longer bring this hardback baby to bed it's still with me.
What I liked best about The Hunger Trace was the middle. It's not that the beginning and the end were bad, it's just that I liked to be inside the novel, following the characters' daily life. I wasn't that bothered about a beginning or an end, it felt like the story had gone on forever and had no end, like real life. And I mean this in a positive way. Unless someone is dead or not yet born you don't really think of their lives as beginning or ending, and that's what I felt about Louisa, Christopher and Maggie in the Hunger Trace. I had the privilege of spending a few months with them and liked it best when I was in the middle of the book. I must admit that the first page didn't grab me, mainly because I didn't know what an ibex was, but as soon as Louisa entered on page two I started to feel connected.
I really like Louisa. Not because her name is similar to mine, but because she's a flawed unusual character. A falconer. A woman still in love with a guy from her childhood whom she could never have. The guy is called David - owner of a wildlife park - and David is dead. He's outside the novel, but we get to know him not only through Louisa but also through his widow Maggie (much younger and a bit tarty), and his son Christopher from another marriage(portrayed very well as an odd teenager who is into internet dating and family values).
I love the Louisa-Christopher-Maggie drama, and when the novel ended it didn't end for me (to be honest I can't even remember the exact end), it carried on in my mind, and I still sometimes wonder what Louisa, Christopher and Maggie (in that order) are up to.