The Farm by Tom Rob Smith

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“Even the thoughts in my head sounded loud, and sometimes I found my heart beating hard for no reason except as a reaction against the silence.”

I spotted this in the supermarket and just wanted to buy something. Having nothing but romances and biographies I picked this up as if heard good things about Child 44 and the blurb sounded intriguing.

Daniel lives in London with his boyfriend who he has yet to inform his parent’s about. Said parents moved to live on a farm in Sweden, where Daniel’s mother grew up, and while he loves them, it seems like the arrangement suits him. One morning, Daniel gets a phone call from his father, informing him that his mom has gone crazy, believing that the whole world has turned against her in some bid to get her institutionalized, and she has run away. At first he’s concerned, and confused, because his mother has always been a consistent, reliable influence in his life, and finds it hard to believe that she just suddenly lost her marbles for no reason. This is made worse when his mother finally manages to make contact with him, insisting that everything Daniel’s father has said is a lie created to trap her further, that she can prove that she’s telling the truth, and that if Daniel can’t find it within himself to believe that she isn’t insane, to listen to her side of the story, then he is no longer her son.

It gives me Girl with the dragon tattoo vibes, not because of it’s Swedish-ness but because of all of the intrigue and mystery in a small, isolated community-ness. I like a book that takes small pieces of a puzzle that builds into a much greater plot, allowing the reader to guess what might or might not be true. But I was particular drawn to this idea of perception versus reality. Daniel can’t chose to believe one parent over the other, because both stories are believable, and they both wholeheartedly believe what they are saying to be true.

The story went through bouts of being fantastically gripping, and kind of boring, but oh, I do love a good conspiracy.

3/5

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