The interlaying narratives of this book relate the viewpoints of Sadie as a teen, Sadie as a new mother, daughter Amber as an adult, and also that of the film producer gradually losing faith in the value of her documentary subject. You may find it hard to find anyone to relate to in this novel as there’s a lot of creepy characters here with healthy cases of arrested development.
Not intending to compare this novel to the obvious (fairly recent) urban legend so judging (of course) THE TALL MAN entirely on what it has to offer as a modern work of crime fiction. As other reviewers have acutely observed, it is an unsettling read rather than a thrilling work of fiction. There is a lot of build up to discovery, which many readers may appreciate, or others may simply lose interest as time ticks on and not much is happening. Hang on there till the end as there’s a bit surprise waiting for you (confession, did not see it coming).
A tale for our narcissistic times for sure, and opportunities to nudge this home are employed here in THE TALL MAN. It is interesting to have a murder read where you don’t feel particular sympathy for anyone affected. The use of texts between the two film female documentary makers is very effective in seeding in a little more tension and ambiguity as the film maker on the ground increasingly begins to question her subject, and the other wishes to power on with the pushing of their vulnerable subject for dramatic revelations.
Not sure of the intended market but thinking THE TALL MAN is perhaps for older edge of young adult readers. If you like to read multi generational novels where the actions of the parents impact the future of their children, THE TALL MAN could be the one for you. Look out for the shadows in the corner of your room…