The Scars by William Tennant is free on Kindle and also a free audio book from Podiobooker. The Amazon page for the book gives the following description:
"Peter has lost the love of his life, Mags is a young girl broken by abuse, Bernard has a glint in his eye and a slur in his soul and Emma is powered by a hidden past. In 'The Scars' we find life, loss, beauty, darkness, desire and violence.In 'The Scars' we find the saddest of loves."
Nothing in that description is false, but it does leave a lot out. In The Scars, Peter is a fresh-out-of-college literature teacher in England who has recently lost his brand new wife. Bernard and Emma are his fellow teachers who become very close to Peter, but refuse to be around each other due to a mysterious past encounter between the two of them. Peter notices that one of his students seems deeply troubled. He eventually learns that the student, Mags, is being abused by her stepfather. Peter fights to get her the justice she deserves while simultaneously trying to put his life back together after the devastating death of his wife.
So... There are many twists and turns in this book that I'd love to discuss, but I want everyone to read it so badly that I refuse to spoil it. And can I just say, please do NOT read the reviews by the readers on Amazon before you read this book. Not because I think the reviews are unfair, but because they are literally riddled with spoilers. Most of them ruin the entire climax of the book within the first few sentences. So, please, don't read those.
There are some things in this book that are hard to swallow, but, I'm here to tell you, are reality. Regardless, Tennant is a gifted author with a talent for character development. There's a deep connection between the reader and the characters, even the more secondary characters. There is a scene in towards the end of the book where Peter is talking to someone in an online chatroom, and for some reason I found myself thinking that it couldn't possibly be Peter talking -- I knew his character too well to believe he was saying the things he was saying. It was very, very subtle, and it wasn't meant to be obvious to the reader at all, but soon you find out that it was, indeed, someone impersonating Peter online. That's just a small example of how well Tennant describes Peter's personality.
This book sort of has everything -- love, scandal, abuse, justice, death, action, mystery... You name it, it's in here. It's a wonderful book that I think some people might skip over due to the lackluster description, but I hope if you get a chance, you'll check out the Kindle book or the audio book. It is highly recommended.
Read from June 25 to June 28, 2011