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Saturday 27 November 2021

‘Anything For Her’ by G. J. Minett

Published by Zaffre Publishing.
22 March 2018.
ISBN: 978-1-78576-388-5 (PB)

We first meet our hero, Billy Orr in August 2015. He is travelling to Rye to see his older sister Mia whom, unbeknown to him, has a brain tumour that is likely to kill her in the near future.  We then go back to June 2002 when, aged eleven, Billy discovers both his parents dead in bed, having killed themselves in a suicide pact. His mother was terminally ill so he understands her wanting to die, but he has never understood, nor forgiven, his father for choosing to leave him.

Thereafter the story veers backward and forwards between 2002 and 2015. Mia is about ten years older than Billy and she and her husband Matthew have taken the now mentally challenged Billy into their home until he was old enough to fend for himself.  Billy loves Mia, but he and Matthew aren’t too keen on each other.

Back to 2015. Matthew picks Billy up from Rye station, takes him home to Mia and then proceeds to vanish – including to New York - for several days. Mia and Billy go shopping in a supermarket where Billy bumps into Aimi. When he was fifteen, she was the love of his life, but then she went off to London and despite promises to keep in touch, never contacted him again. He has loved and dreamed about her ever since.  After Aimi has convinced Billy that her husband is abusing her, Billy agrees to help her stage her own death on the understanding that, once things calm down, she will send for him and they can be together.

Mia dies and several months later, in 2016, Billy is still waiting to be sent for.  Talks with Aimi’s husband and father-in-law raise doubts in Billy’s mind about Aimi’s intentions.  With the aid of his IT savvy business partners, Billy tracks Aimi to Peaks Island in Maine. What he finds there forces him to address several difficult questions.  Had Aimi really been going to send for him, or for another lover, or for her husband? What was her plan?  Can she continue to play games with everybody?

Having lost his parents and his sister, can Billy cope with yet more potential loss and betrayal? Will he have to, or will he find his own solution?  Besides being a deceptively clever psychological thriller, Anything For Her is a very poignant story about love and loss. You will have to read the book to discover which of the two possibilities triumphs.

Reviewer Angela Crowther

Graham Minett studied Languages at Churchill College, Cambridge before teaching for several years in Gloucestershire and West Sussex. In 2008 he completed a part-time MA in Creative Writing at the University of Chichester and subsequently won both the inaugural Segora short story competition in 2008 and the Chapter One competition in 2010. The latter consisted of the opening sections of what would eventually become his debut novel, The Hidden Legacy. This was followed by Lie In Wait and Anything For Her and his fourth novel, The Syndicate, is scheduled for publication in July 2020. Now writing full-time, he is published by Bonnier Zaffre and represented by Lisa Moylett of Coombs Moylett Maclean Literary Agency. He lives in West Sussex with his wife and children.

Angela Crowther
is a retired scientist.  She has published many scientific papers but, as yet, no crime fiction.  In her spare time Angela belongs to a Handbell Ringing group, goes country dancing and enjoys listening to music, particularly the operas of Verdi and Wagner.


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