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the slipping place

“What’s The Worst Thing You’ve Ever Seen?”

The Slipping Place by Joanna Baker

Veronica Cruikshank’s son, Roland, is her idealistic one — affectionate, creative, vague, a fighter of lost causes. And he is her vulnerable one. The one who is never safe.

So when she hears he is back in Hobart, trying to help an old school friend, Treen McShane, Veronica is deeply worried.

Roland will not meet with her. She learns about him in distant glimpses and second-hand reports. She hears vague stories, of violence and horrific abuse.

Then Roland sends a text, asking Veronica to go to the Slipping Place, an old family picnic spot on the mountain. There she finds Treen’s frozen body.

Roland will be implicated in Treen’s death. If Veronica is to help him, she has to find out what really happened. She begins looking into the girl’s life, and the true nature of her connection to Roland and his old friend Paul. Soon she makes a discovery that will bring the violence right inside her own family circle.

The Slipping Place is about lies, secrets and unspeakable cruelty. It is about mothers and sons, unconditional love and bonds of blood. It is about the things we thought we knew and the things we miss.

Duffy’s Thoughts on The Slipping Place

Reading the book jacket was the reason I picked this one for review. The Slipping Place offered everything I like in a good suspense thriller. Pace, a whodunnit, families, secrets and the allure of a possible plot twist.

The problem was that The Slipping Place didn’t quite get there for me.

Veronica Cruikshank hears from her estranged, artistic and complicated son via a bunch of cryptic clues, drawings, messages and texts. He finally sends her to The Slipping Place, where Veronica finds a frozen body. Here the story picks up and lies and secrets are exposed.

So, why didn’t The Slipping Place Work For Me?

My biggest problem with The Slipping Place was Roland, the wayward, creative, ‘tries to save everyone son’. I found him quite insufferable and extremely selfish. Being all cryptic and hiding from his mum, but not thinking twice about sending her out to find a body with no warning. After the tenth secret, not so secret message to Veronica from her hipster self-absorbed son I let out a groan. That’s where I stopped caring about one of the main characters. He could have explained right at the beginning without any risk or retribution.

I was also quite alarmed by the way known abuse was handled. I won’t share too much here for fear of spoilers, but if I knew what some of the characters knew, I would have dealt with it completely differently and taken a victim out of several distressing and harmful situations earlier. Hey, but if my two pieces of feedback were implemented, I guess there would be no book!

The Slipping Place is getting some solid reviews, but unfortunately, Roland irritated me far too much, even the stunning Tasmanian backdrop couldn’t help me.

The Slipping Place is available in all good bookstores RRP $29.99 published by Ventura Press

The Slipping Place