All For You by Louise Jensen – Review
By Sandra Callard
Louise Jensen excels at nail-biting stories that have dramatic twists and thunderingly good endings. Her latest book, All for You will fulfil every readers’ hopes for more of this – indeed much more. This is thriller writing at its best. It has got plot, characterisation and an effective and moving storyline that marches along at speed, and will leave the reader floundering if they slacken their attention.
The plot unfolds through the eyes of each of the dominant characters, who are all captivating in their own way. Lucy, erstwhile surgeon, whose life is given over to saving her fatally ill son. Husband Aiden, playing away from home, and wishing he wasn’t, and an assortment of friends, collegues, school characters and various additions who are essential to the plot.
An unwelcome and worrying situation is developing as the strange disappearance of teenage boys in the neighbourhood begins to emerge, ignored until one of their own family vanishes and becomes one of ‘The Taken’.
These and many more characters, who are all as mesmerising and different from each other as needs must, play their strong and essential roles in the unfolding drama. This is strong stuff and the reader rarely gets a break. But does he want one when the story is so compelling and so different? I certainly didn’t. And when you have to tear yourself away you resent it. It feels like this fascinating and original story will carry on without you if you drop your attention, and you will lose the thread. Ridiculous? Yes, without doubt, but read it and you will see what l mean.
As to the analysis of the story, it is almost impossible to be clinical and detached. You do indeed feel the fear and the creeping horror, as the inexplicable feeling of something closing in manifests itself.
Nevertheless, the family here are fighting for survival. The wife for her son’s life and her husband’s love. Her sons, the one in fear of death and the other afraid that his mother’s love will be subsumed in caring for his brother and there will be nothing left for him.
The husband has been having an affair, but regrets it and is trying to extract himself from a woman who is threatening to tell all if he leaves her.
Whoever and whatever emerge as characters in this book have something to hide, and in every case that something is huge.
The ending, denouement, exodus, or whatever the finale may be called, I can guarantee you will not expect. We all try to work out the plan, who is the chief suspect, who is the least one suspected, and l thought l had heard it all. Not so. The ending is mind-blowing and brilliantly done.
This is a full-blown, brilliantly plotted and written novel, with a clarity and originality that is wonderfully unique. Louise Jensen has been off my radar recently. That will now change.
‘All For You’ by Louise Jensen is published by HarperCollins, £8.99 paperback