A Haunting Tale of Innocence: Read our Review of The Others by Mark Brandi

A Haunting Tale of Innocence: Read our Review of The Others by Mark Brandi

Mark Brandi, bestselling author of Wimmera and The Rip, has written an unforgettable new novel that explores the darkness in our world with the light only a child can find.

On his eleventh birthday, Jacob’s father gives him a diary. To write about things that happen. About what he and his father do on their farm. About the sheep, the crop, the fox and the dam. But Jacob knows some things should not be written down. Some things should not be remembered.

The only things he knows for sure are what his father has taught him, in his sheltered, protected and isolated existence. But who is his father protecting him from? And how far will his father go to keep the world at bay? All too soon, Jacob will learn that sometimes people do the most terrible things.

Mark Brandi’s talent for writing haunting, evocative crime fiction has been firmly established since Wimmera won the British Crime Writer’s Association Debut Dagger award, and the 2018 Indie Book Award for debut fiction. His latest novel, The Others, takes a remarkably new direction with Brandi embodying the innocent voice of an eleven-year-old boy.

The narrative is told through diary entries written by Jacob, who knows very little about the harsh world around him. He learns some things from an encyclopedia, and copies drawings into his diary, which are included in The Others. Jacob’s innocent outlook is often heartbreaking, and allusions to abuse at the hands of his father make for an at times uncomfortable read.

The setting of The Others is intentionally vague. The only indications that Jacob and his father’s remote farmhouse is in Australia include sightings of dingoes and cockatoos, and the old copy of Women’s Weekly that Jacob’s mother left lying around. In a very contemporary move, the novel seems to take place in a post-Covid world: Jacob knows about the plague which struck many in the years before he was born, and of which his father is still fearful. This is one of the reasons his father avoids ‘the others’ in town.

Details are slowly revealed to Jacob, and the reader, throughout The Others. Brandi is skilled at turning a slow burn into a gripping read, and you’ll find yourself trying to piece together the puzzle alongside Jacob—right until the end. This book deftly touches upon the aftermath of the pandemic on society, the impact of mental illness on individuals and families, and the innocence of children, both gained and lost. The Others is a timely tale, from the unique perspective of a child, that is as intriguing as it is heartrending.

Reviews

Read Our Q&A with Bestselling Author Mark Brandi

Review | Author Related

28 June 2021

Read Our Q&A with Bestselling Author Mark Brandi

    Innocence and Hardship: Read an Extract from The Others by Mark Brandi

    Review | Extract

    28 June 2021

    Innocence and Hardship: Read an Extract from The Others by Mark Brandi

      Your Preview Verdict: The Others by Mark Brandi

      Review | Preview

      24 June 2021

      Your Preview Verdict: The Others by Mark Brandi

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                      Publisher details

                      The Others
                      Author
                      Mark Brandi
                      Publisher
                      Hachette
                      Genre
                      Fiction
                      Released
                      30 June, 2021
                      ISBN
                      9780733641145

                      Synopsis

                      On his eleventh birthday, Jacob's father gives him a diary. To write about things that happen. About what he and his father do on their farm. About the sheep, the crop, the fox and the dam. But Jacob knows some things should not be written down. Some things should not be remembered. The only things he knows for sure are what his father has taught him. Sheltered, protected, isolated. But who is his father protecting him from? And how far will his father go to keep the world at bay? All too soon, Jacob will learn that, sometimes, people do the most terrible things.
                      Mark Brandi
                      About the author

                      Mark Brandi

                      Mark Brandi's bestselling novel, Wimmera, won the coveted British Crime Writers' Association Debut Dagger, and was named Best Debut at the 2018 Australian Indie Book Awards. It was also shortlisted for the Australian Book Industry Awards Literary Fiction Book of the Year, and the Matt Richell Award for New Writer of the Year. His second novel, The Rip, was published to critical acclaim by Hachette Australia in March 2019.Mark's shorter work has appeared in The GuardianThe Age, the Big Issue, and in journals both here and overseas. His writing is also sometimes heard on ABC Radio National.Mark graduated with a criminal justice degree and worked extensively in the justice system, before changing direction and deciding to write. Originally from Italy, he grew up in rural Victoria. Mark now lives in Melbourne and is working on his next work of fiction.

                      Books by Mark Brandi

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