Our ReviewsDeath Of A Bookseller by Alice Slater

Death Of A Bookseller by Alice Slater

Death of a Book Seller

There was a concerted amount of hype and excellent marketing around the publication of this debut back in April. I read it a few weeks ago and have struggled to collect my thoughts because honestly it’s a mixed bag.

In the spirit of positivity that we always like to evoke there were elements I enjoyed and an overriding theme that has stayed with me. There will be large swathes of readers that would adore it.

Set in a bookshop (I mean first point of desirability for any reader), our main character is Roach who I just didn’t get on with. She is really rather grotesque in some ways, interminably misunderstood, obsessed with a true crime podcast, serial killers & her pet snail. Enter the perpendicular Laura, the English rose, poetry writing new colleague that Roach becomes fixated on, sending a darkness within.

I loved the spotlight on a struggling bookstore, the insight into the shop floor – Slater worked in Waterstones so it feels very authentic, with bookish vibes all round. The plot cleverly asks the reader to question societies morbid fascination with crime & the exploitation of victims for entertainment – people reduced to a story/mystery.

I didn’t find it as thrilling as suggested, the morally ambiguous characters & dual narrative was fine but it was definitely repetitive & slow burn descending into stalker mayhem. Written in an easy to read style of prose, I have seen a range of reviews so it has definitely split the crowd. By the end I wanted more to tie up all the plot elements that had ramped up in the last quarter. C

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