Fellside by M.R. Carey
When Jess Moulson is found guilty of the murder of a young boy named Alex, she’s sentenced to spend the rest of her life within the walls of Fellside, a state-of-the-art, maximum security prison perched on the edge of the Yorkshire moors. Incapacitated by grief and guilt over a crime that she can’t remember committing, Jess embarks on an attempt to end her life through starvation. As oblivion approaches she is visited by an apparition that drags her back from the brink of death, and she realises that the dead aren’t finished with her yet.
The presence that reveals itself to her is young, naive, and seeking retribution for an untimely death. Jess realises that it can only be Alex, but as she attempts to unravel the truth about the crime for which she has been found guilty she becomes more and more deeply entwined in a darker conspiracy that affects every aspect of life within Fellside.
M.R. Carey’s 2014 novel The Girl with All the Gifts was a clever thriller that turned the zombie genre on its head. While his new novel is more grounded in our own gritty reality, it hints at how thin the veil is between this world and the next. With issues of class, corruption, the failings of the legal system and the casual cruelty and abuse perpetrated by those in power, Fellside is much more than ‘just’ a ghost story. It has elements of The Green Mile, The Shawshank Redemption, and Orange Is the New Black, wrapped up in a supernatural mystery that will keep you turning pages late into the night.
Lian Hingee is the digital marketing manager for Readings.