Incendiary by Chris Cleave


Chris Cleave

I've read many books. However, to date, this has been the most disturbing. The story deals with a subject close to many people's hearts - terrorism. A bomb has blown at an Arsenal football match. The narrator has to pick up the pieces of her life after losing both her husband and only son to the horror of that day. It is as though writing this letter to Osama Bin Laden provides her with a cathartic release. She talks very openly about personal subjects such as infidelity, gambling, death and love. Her story resembles a sponge being released of its water - everything pours out until there's nothing left. The novel shows how terrorism affects individuals, families, communities and countries. Very scary.

My hand closed around the handle. It was cold and shiny and the thing was too big for me. I watched myself holding it like a girl trying to lift something made for grown ups. Terence Butcher let go of the barrel and my arm fell down with the weight of the gun. I tried to point it at myself. I tried and tried but I couldn't lift it with one hand and I couldn't use both hands without dropping the crutch and falling over.

I burst into tears and sat down on the floor. I let the crutch fall onto the cardboard boxes. I looked at Terence Butcher through the tears in my eyes and I put both hands on the handle of the pistol with my fingers laced round the back of the handle and my thumbs around that metal bit that goes round the trigger. I lifted the gun up and put the barrel in my mouth.

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