Books & Literature

Book Review: Lowbridge, by Lucy Campbell

MYSTERY: In a town simmering with divisions and a cast of unforgettable characters, Lowbridge is a heart-wrenching mystery about the girls who are lost, the ones who are mourned and those who are forgotten.

Slow to start, gripping towards the end

Feature image credit: Ultimo Press

Lucy Campbell, writer and subwriter across magazines, newspapers and non-fiction books, has finally released her first murder mystery novel, Lowbridge.

The intricacies and characters in this book are very believable. The prologue gives one the feeling that it is based on a true story, to the point where after the first couple of pages, I stopped reading to find myself Googling the story of a missing girl, in a town named Lowbridge.

Hint: It is not a true story, but the plot formation, structure and changing timelines make it feel like it is, and that lasts throughout. There are two stories at play here. The story of four teenage girls, one of whom goes missing, and the story of Jamie and Katherine, recently bereaved of their daughter and who have moved to Jamie’s hometown to rebuild their lives. Other secondary characters’ backstories are revealed namely to build suspense and give depth, as they exist in both timelines and are critical to the central narrative. They provide an intersect of the past and prove crucial to changing the central characters’ lives in the present.

The two distinct timelines that are connected in this novel are the years 1987 and 2018. It was very confusing at first as only the earlier timeline is ever announced, however, after a few chapters, a re-read of the blurb, and doubling back, I worked it out.

Aside from the two distinct timelines are flashbacks and memories of each person in 2018, some related to the 1987 timeline, but others are related to their more recent pasts. These memories are mainly shared in conversations or via internal dialogue. This is how we discover the motivation for Katherine’s obsession with and commitment to solving the mystery of the 1987 teen’s disappearance.

Lowbridge has an incredibly slow pace in the beginning for almost the first third of the book, so do not be put off by the start. Keep reading! Later on, it is like a switch has been flicked and as the story progresses, you can kind of see how the initial slow pace is necessary. When it moved from slow to spellbinding for the remaining two thirds, I found it almost impossible to put down, even when I was keen to sleep!

The novel suits most mature audiences however there are multiple triggering themes such as violence, murder, and death, so this is something to bear in mind before reading.

Reviewed by Rebecca Wu

The views expressed in this review belong to the author and not Glam Adelaide, its affiliates, or employees.

Distributed by: Ultimo Press
Released: July 2023
RRP: $34.99

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