When I was Ten is book number 16 of 2021, done and dusted! Let me just say quickly: There’s no competition in reading! I, personally, feel so accomplished when I finish a book…it’s something that I enjoy and something that keeps me off my darn phone. I was introduced to Fiona Cummins when I reviewed The Neighbour about 2yrs ago, and that book remains one of my favourite books to date! How does this new offering compare? You’ll have to keep reading to find out!
What is When I was Ten about?
She had lived a lie for thirteen years, and the perfect life as she had known it was about to change forever.
Everyone remembered Sara and Shannon Carter, the little blonde haired sisters. Their Dad was the local GP and they lived in the beautiful house on the hill. Their best friend, Brinley Booth, lived next door. They would do anything for each other but everything shifted on that fateful day when Dr Richard Carter and his wife Pamela were stabbed fourteen times with a pair of scissors in what has become the most talked about double murder of the modern age.
The girls were aged ten and twelve at the time. One, nicknamed the Angel of Death, spent eight years in a children’s secure unit accused of the brutal killings. The other lived in foster care out of the limelight and prying questions. Now, on the anniversary of the trial, a documentary team has tracked down one of the sisters, persuading her to speak about the events of that night for the first time.
Her explosive interview sparks national headlines and Brinley Booth, now a journalist, is tasked with covering the news story which brings to light fresh evidence and triggers a chain of events which will have devastating consequences.
Characters and Story Line
We’re introduced to Catherine Allen, who used to be Sara Carter….the infamous ‘Angel of Death‘. Sara was convicted of killing her parents at the age of 10. She is now living a quiet life, under a new name with her family, until everything comes crashing down!
The story line is obviously a fascinating one, and Fiona says in her acknowledgements that she was inspired by the case of Mary Bell. Killer children are fascinating to read about…. one can only imagine and ask: ‘What drives a child to murder?’.
Fiona introduces us to quite a few characters in When I was Ten. I can’t say that I felt invested in the characters, because there were so many of them. The scenes where they were kids though, I really felt so sad for their experiences.
I really love Fiona’s writing style…it’s clean, it’s crisp, it’s easy to read and it’s interesting. I never feel bored when I read her books, or like any part of it is drawn out or unnecessary. The book is told from the POV of Catherine/Sara, as well as Brinley, a childhood friend, turned reporter. There’s also an unknown POV, seemingly a conversation with somebody specific. When I was Ten is a page turner, and one I read in one day, such is the power of Fiona’s writing. In one word….Unputdownable!
All that being said, I personally guessed all the plot twists in the book. A friend of mine also read it, but she didn’t find it quite as predictable. I need to say though, that guessing the plot twists did not distract me from enjoying the book.
When I was Ten has a Goodreads rating of 4.12 and it’s definitely a 4 star read for me! Fiona Cummins can do no wrong and she’s definitely one of my auto-buy authors at this stage.
Disclaimer: When I was Ten was sent to me by Pan Macmillan in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.