‘A Song Of Isolation’ by Michael J. Malone is a book that I have put in my top five for 2020. A breathtaking psychological thriller that deals with the most intense topic you could consider.
Amelie Hart, a former film star who has retired due to experiencing a traumatic episode with a stalker is now living a quiet life with her partner, Dave. The quiet life is torn apart when Dave is accused of child sexual abuse from their next-door neighbour’s daughter, an 11-year-old girl, Damaris.
Dave vehemently denies these charges and Amelie stands by him but the public and the press, as they do, convict him before a court is able to. This makes Amelie equally as guilty in their eyes and so begins the ‘she must have known’ campaign.
This is an absolutely brutal read and it takes a truly skilled writer to attempt to turn a minefield of a story and make you feel sorry for the three main characters but Michael J. Malone manages this. He artfully weaves a book that explores the dark and extremely awkward and downright difficult subjects with such sensitivity and honesty. We are faced with a book that splits everything down the middle and we are allowed to make our own decisions about the allegations.
Damaris, the child, truly believes what she has said and Dave really believes he did no wrong and this is made crystal clear throughout by the author. Both characters are victims that have been deeply affected from the day the charges where made, this creates two people who both feel as vulnerable as each other and this comes off the pages in waves. I really experienced a sense of helplessness and wished I could sweep them both up and rescue them. A book that clearly shows that in this type of case, no one can win.
Many thanks to Orenda Books for the digital copy of A Song Of Isolation for my review today.