The Blackbird Season was my first novel by Moretti and it certainly won’t be my last! I’m excited to be a part of the blog tour for this new release and even more excited to be sharing my review with you today.
From the back cover:
In a quiet town, a thousand dead starlings fall onto a school playing field. As journalists flock to the scene, one of them catches a teacher, Nate Winters, embracing a female student. The student claims that she and Nate are having an affair, sending shockwaves through the close-knit community. Then the student disappears, and the police have only one suspect: Nate.
Nate’s wife, Alecia, is left wondering if she ever really knew her seemingly loving husband. Nate’s co-worker, Bridget, is determined to prove his innocence and find the missing student. But both women will have to ask themselves – do they really know what Nate is capable of?
It’s no secret, I have come to love mysteries set in a small town – I can now add The Blackbird Season to the list of fantastic small-town mysteries. Everybody knows everybody, rumours spread like the plague, and surrounded by people, you can feel so alone – that’s what this novel conveys so well. When the story breaks, Nate, the guy who was everybody’s friend, finds himself the villain.
The Blackbird Season is narrated from the viewpoint of Nate, his wife Alecia, his friend Bridget, and the student, Lucia. What was really interesting about this novel was that Bridget seemed the most invested in finding out the truth and proving Nates innocence, even more invested that Nate himself. Nate almost seemed to accept his fate, whereas Bridget never wavered in her quest for the truth – I really liked that Moretti chose to advance the mystery through the use of Bridget’s narrative because it’s not something we often see and it allowed us to see the case in a more objective light because it wasn’t Nate’s first-person account/investigation.
However, this made it no easier to figure this mystery out! The novel does not follow a linear timeline, it varies from before and after the birds fell in a non-chronological order; again, I really liked Moretti choice in this because it meant we had information coming from all angles, it kept you paying attention and ultimately made it even harder to solve the mystery.
Alecia’s perspective was a really nice addition to the plot, Nate’s wife and full-time mother to their autistic son, Gabe, really allowed us to see how the events impacted her and her son – this disruption to this family’s life. Almost a secondary victim/a victim by default, Alecia doesn’t know what to believe and feels as isolated as ever. The tagline reads “when they fell, so did she” and I think that relates to the missing student but equally to Alecia.
The Blackbird Season is a thriller but it doesn’t move at lightening pace, due to the non-linear time, if the pace were any faster, as the reader, you’d fail to keep up. Moretti has told this story in a way that grips you, not only because of the mystery itself but also because of the mysteriousness surrounding the mystery – this novel has a dark tone to it and areas of darkness surrounding Lucia herself. I got a vibe from her that caused me to like her and feel sympathy for her in the sense that she was clearly a troubled girl, she reminded me of Hattie from ‘The Last Act of Hattie Hoffman’.
This mysterious element was further enhanced by the continuous mention of the blackbirds. I was so intrigued by this concept of blackbirds falling that I googled it and found that blackbirds can signify: mystery, secrets and the unknown – and that sums up this novel perfectly. The Blackbird Season is dark, suspenseful, a tale cleverly told and one I highly recommend.
*My thanks to Titan Books for providing me with a copy of this book and inviting me to participate in the blog tour*
FOLLOW THE BLACKBIRD SEASON BLOG TOUR