It’s 1956 and fifteen-year-old Betty Broadbent has never left the Cornish fishing village of St Steele or ventured far beyond the walls of the boarding house run by her erratic mother.
When the London press pack descends to report on a series of gruesome murders of young women, Betty’s world changes. In particular she is transfixed by mysterious and aloof reporter, Mr Gallagher. As the death toll rises, an unlikely friendship blossoms between Betty and Gallagher.
As their bond deepens, they find themselves entangled with the murders and each is forced to make a devastating choice, one that will shape their own lives – and the life of an innocent man – forever.
I absolutely loved this story. The description of the book pulled me in, sounding intriguing with an air of mystery. I never expected to fall in love with the Betty or her journey. I certainly never expected the ending, that was a shocker and so eloquently done.
The draw of The Unforgotten came from the timeframe and the setting of the scene, written drama style like something from a screenplay, reminding me very much so of Murder on the Homefront, albeit a little later set. Powell’s writing clear allowing the reader to envisage the minute detail, the clothing, the hairstyles, the beach front pulling us closer and further into Betty’s story.
The characters are fantastic, solid and wholesome. Multifaceted with plenty of layers and depth. I will guarantee you will fall in love with one of them at least.
It was subtle, the stories of the two timeframes combined but yet it takes a while to get there, takes a little longer till the penny drops and then when it does it opens a whole new can of worms with a lot more answers needed. Gallagher has forever had his hold on Betty yet is Gallagher the man we think he is?
This is a story that I would love to reach the screen, one of those that will remain on my bookshelf and one I would recommend to all. This is a brilliant whodunit set in the fifties with a set of very well written characters.