Published by FeedaRead,
12 May 2021.
ISBN: 978-1-83945-857-6 (PB)
Thorne Moore doesn’t write ordinary books. Other than to call it fiction, it’s hard to categorize any of her previous work; is it historical, crime, psychological, maybe even that catch-all known as literary fiction? Inside Out, on the other hand, falls very firmly into the category of science fiction, at least on the surface of it. It’s set mainly on a spaceship, in the future, in a world which resembles our own in some rather scary ways, but certainly isn’t what you’d find outside your front door. At least not yet...
So why is it being reviewed as crime fiction? There’s a point of view that as a genre, crime is infinitely flexible; that it can encompass most other genres as long as it includes crime. And even the late and much-lamented Reginald Hill took Dalziel and Pascoe to the Moon to solve one of their cases. There’s certainly crime involved here: a suspicious death, though it doesn’t remain suspicious for long; a rather sinister form of piracy; even a bit of blackmail and extortion. The biggest crime, though, is the old chestnut which never goes away: man’s inhumanity to man.
Moore creates a world which very little imagination can turn into something that our own world might all too easily become: a reality in which large corporations have assumed the role of government and use it to feather their own nests. The six passengers on the ISF Heloise are bound for Triton, a far-flung and seemingly lawless outpost of Earth run by Ragnox, one of those corporations, whose business is never made clear, but whose main function seems to be to put money in the pocket of one Jordan Pascal. None of the passengers or crew members are what they first appear to be, and none of the six has much idea what they will be required to do when they arrive. The eleven-month-long journey is a learning curve, for passengers, crew and reader alike. All the crimes mentioned above take place, and no one arrives unchanged by the experience.
Once again Thorne Moore has created a world with meticulous care, in this case one which is alien to her readers, and peopled it with characters most of whom even their mothers would struggle to love. Yet it’s a world that’s easy to lose yourself in; and by the end you’ll be rooting for some of those characters and hoping against hope that their plotting and machinating will succeed. The overwhelming impression I was left with when I emerged from that alien world was that Moore was saying, ‘Be very, very careful, humanity; it’s a slippery slope, and you’re already on it.’
Inside Out is a page-turner, and whether or not it qualifies as a crime novel, it’s one worth reading – if only to make you think, ‘Be afraid; be very afraid.’
Reviewer: Lynne Patrick
Thorne Moore grew up in Luton, near London, but has lived in Pembrokeshire in West Wales for the last 35 years. She writes psychological crime, or domestic noir, with an historical twist, focusing on the cause and consequences of crimes rather than on the details of the crimes themselves. A Time For Silence, set in Pembrokeshire, was published by Honno in 2012. It was followed by Motherlove and The Unravelling, set partly in a fictional version of Luton. Shadows, published by Endeavour in 2017, is set in an old house in Pembrokeshire, and is paired with Long Shadows, which explained the history and mysteries of the same house from Medieval times to the late Victorian period.
Lynne Patrick has been a writer ever since she could pick up a pen, and has enjoyed success with short stories, reviews and feature journalism, but never, alas, with a novel. She crossed to the dark side to become a publisher for a few years and is proud to have launched several careers which are now burgeoning. She lives in Oxfordshire in a house groaning with books, about half of them crime fiction.