Whenever I read a book, there is a quote, theme, catch-phrase, or emotion that defines the story for me and stays with me long after the ending. In the case of Mint, it’s one word… toxic.
Small towns are famous for their gossips and troublemakers, but the author has populated this small English seaside town with so many horrid characters, I wondered why anyone would want to live there.
While his life was defined and directed by toxicity, James Philip Andrew “Mint” Minter is a likable and sympathetic character. I also liked his mother, Abigail Hudson, who adored her son almost as much as the father he shared a name and birth-date with. However, Mint’s father died before his birth, and it’s Abi’s desire to move on and the bad choices she makes, that change the direction of Mint’s life.
After spending nine years in prison, Mint returns to the town he hates not to the loving arms of his mom, but to view her body in a morgue, her death ruled a suicide. But he knew Abi better than anyone and knows she would never take her life. Mint’s determined to find the truth about Abi’s death even if it means facing down George, his abusive bully of a stepfather, and Micky, the woman he once loved whose betrayal sent him to prison. He also needs to find Lara, his sixteen-year-old half-sister who’s been missing since their mother’s body was found.
The story is told in two main timelines: the history and events leading up to Mint’s incarceration and his release nearly a decade later. There are also several points of view throughout the story and I found them neither excessive nor confusing. Each voice pulled me deeper into the story and also proved there’s at least one whack-job serial killer loose in town.
Deftly written, Mint is both poignant and heartbreaking, and caustic and brutal. The unique ending is twisty and satisfying, but it’s events two-thirds into the story that ripped my heart out. I didn’t see it coming and I wasn’t ready. However, in a weird way, it made me smile and give a silent nod to the author. I was set up! HA!
This is my first read by S.R. Wilsher but it won’t be the last.
It’s the summer of 1976, and after nine years in prison, James Minter is home to bury his mother.
A history of depression and a series of personal issues has seen her death ruled as suicide.
His refusal to accept that conclusion means he must confront his violent stepfather, deal with the gangster who wants his mother’s shop and, of course, face the family of the boy he killed.
But will his search for the truth in the claustrophobic atmosphere of a small seaside town, and the unpicking of the peculiar relationship his mother had with the Stonemason next door, put his own life in danger.