‘Death of a Bookseller’ – Alice Slater

Brogan Roach has been a bookseller since she was sixteen. She works in Spines, a rundown store in Walthamstow. Obsessed with true crime, Roach does not make friends easily. Awkward, prone to obsessive behaviours and not keen to change she is a hard character to like.

As part of a move to try and overhaul the fortune of an ailing store, a team of booksellers are drafted in. Amongst them is Laura Bunting, professional and full of positivity. She writes poetry and seems to have everyone wrapped around her little finger. But she does not like Roach.

The rejection sends Roach into a dangerously obsessive spiral. This is made worse when Roach learns that Laura’s mother was murdered by a serial killer. Determined to get closer to Laura, Roach takes increasingly dangerous steps to try and force a friendship.

Told in alternating viewpoints we see very different perspectives on the fascination with true crime. Neither character endears themselves to us, and there were a number of moments where I wondered quite where this would end up. It didn’t take quite the dark turn I feared it might, but there’s plenty to find unsettling. I liked the setting of the bookstore and some of the discussions around reading behaviours. The ending was interesting, and it certainly offered an unusual way for each to resolve their issues.

Thanks to NetGalley for giving me opportunity to read and review this in exchange for offering my honest thoughts.