I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher.
20-yr-old Oscar Lowe lives in Cambridge and works as a nursing home assistant. Each day he watches the privileged Cambridge students rush by as they hurry from class to class while managing to separate himself from it all. One day, Oscar is drawn into the Chapel at King's College by profoundly moving music. He meets the organist, Eden Bellwether, and his lovely sister Iris after the service. Oscar quickly finds himself drawn into their circle as he falls for Iris. Eden is a particularly charismatic individual who believes that he has discovered a way to heal with is music. Iris believes her brother to be deeply emotionally disturbed and enlists Oscar's help in trying to determine how dangerous Eden really is and how far he will go to prove himself right.
This book reminded me a little of Donna Tartt's SECRET HISTORY. The setting of Cambridge and the rarefied world of its students provide the perfect contrast to Oscar's life and demonstrates how seductive that world can be. Eden is one of those mad geniuses and it is difficult to tell whether he is crazy or brilliant or both. The story manages to build into a very effective psychological thriller that proved to be very compelling. My only complaint was that the buildup was so profound that I felt the ending was a little anti-climactic. It went on just a wee bit too long for me. I wish Wood had ended the book sooner. Still, I was really drawn in by this story. I could not put it down. I only wish the book came with a soundtrack because I would have loved to listen to some of the music mentioned in the while I was reading it.
BOTTOM LINE: Highly recommended. A great book for fans of psychological thrillers. I found the whole premise very compelling.