Tuesday 30 January 2018

Fellside by M.R.Carey

Review by Greenacre Writer Vasundra Jackison

Jess Moulson has been sent to Fellside, a maximum security prison in Yorkshire. She believes she deserves to be there. She cannot remember what happened on the night of the crime, but she is certain she has committed the offence. When the Judge and jury pronounce her guilty, she accepts the verdict quietly.
She refuses the help of her lawyer.  He wants her to appeal the verdict, but she fires him instead.
“I’m not making an appeal. You need to go away.”
He tells her to reconsider because she would not last in prison, especially one such as Fellside.
“I’ll be fine,” she assured him. If Fellside was terrible, Fellside was where she belonged.
She could not have been more wrong. The prison is so dangerous that even the Governor and guards are afraid of the inmates. It is rife with drugs, weapons and gangs who terrorise their fellow prisoners. Jess has to endure sickening bullying rituals almost on a daily basis. She wants to end her life, but her aunt tells her:
“Don’t put out that precious light, Jess. Whatever they say you’ve done, don’t throw yourself away. Not for someone else’s idea of crime or sinfulness. You know what you’ve done and what you haven’t done, and you’ve only got to answer to yourself, not to them.”
Then she hears another voice, that of a boy, telling her to stay alive and do something for him. Jess thinks she is dreaming, and refuses to listen. She has constant nightmares that leave her shaking in fear or completely confused about what is real and what is not. But the boy is persistent. Should she help him? She is not sure. And even if she does try to help, what can she do inside the prison bars of Fellside.
The book is full of different and interesting characters. The reader will empathise with some who should not be in Fellside because they are inherently decent. But others are shockingly malevolent. One inmate in particular is terrifying because she is pure evil. She holds court in the prison, day in day out. Unfortunately, she has chosen Jess to pick on. Somehow, Jess has to find a way to outsmart her.
This is a powerful tale of life in a high security prison. It is also a story of one inmate’s struggle to work through the truth and lies surrounding her. Her dreams, visions and nightmares will give the reader a fascinating, yet haunting insight into her mind.

You can follow Mike on Twitter: @michaelcarey191

Thanks to Mike for the review copy of Fellside.

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