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Tea-drinking introvert found either behind a book or within arm's reach of one. Book reviewer, and book sniffer. You may have seen me on W24, BooksLive, Aerodrome, Bark Magazine, CultNoise Magazine, or Expound Magazine.

9 Apr 2019

Review: Green Valley by Louis Greenberg

Two children have been found dead. However, they were from Green Valley, so the police aren’t going to do anything about it, with the exception of Lucie. She’s a cop with invested interest in the case; her niece is in Green Valley.

The idyllic-sounding city has been independent of Stanton for some years, with the concrete wall separating the two extending to policing, justice and laws. Green Valley, with its technological advancement and virtual reality, might as well be another world, but that doesn’t stop Lucie from wanting to enter it to find the little girl. As the journey will be risky to both her career and her safety, Lucie can’t afford to enter Green Valley unless she’s absolutely sure of what she’ll find – or won’t find.

Green Valley is a portrait of duality from start to finish – its very name is the first hint of the creative sneakiness that’s to come; a lush wonderland heralded as a paradise is actually tucked away in a crumbling concrete bubble. Much to the delight and frustration of the reader, this war between what is and what appears to be plays out throughout the narrative; doubts about the characters and situations filter through to the forefront of the reader’s mind constantly.

Green Valley is a very clever, very eerie reminder that ugly truths may lie beneath a beautiful veneer, and that the image of happiness is not happiness itself. In a thoroughly modern yet ageless epic, our protagonist must wander the world in the search of the ultimate prize –truth. As Greenberg effortlessly demonstrates, seeing is not always believing, and the fine line between technological advancement and physical destruction is not always visible. This is a story that is slick, action-packed and thrilling; a marriage of suspense and horror, with a carefully crafted crime story on the side. All that’s left to ask is whether this book is a futuristic prediction, or a prediction of the future.

Green Valley by Louis Greenberg is published by Titan Books, and is available in South Africa from Jonathan Ball Publishers.

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