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The Crack Magazine

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In The Seeing Hands Of Others by Nat Ogle

Nat Ogle’s debut novel details the story of Corina, a young nurse who works at Guy’s and St. Thomas’ hospital in London. She also spends a good chunk of her time caring for her mother who has advanced breast cancer. In short: she’s got her hands full. But that’s not all. She’s also having to deal with the wreckage of a rape trial, a trail in which the defendant, Cameron, was exonerated. It’s not a straightforward tale. The narrative is presented through a whole bunch of sources, from Corina’s blog to a word document that recounts Cameron’s version of the events that led to the trial. We also get witness statements, character references, voicemails, screengrabs of emails, message board threads, excerpts from Cameron’s drama scripts, text messages and more, all with the aim of giving the reader a roadmap through the intricacies of the “he said/she said” trial. The big problem the novel has is there is no real narrative pull. Trying to extrapolate a coherent story from the various blog posts etc (which read like no blog posts I’ve ever read) soon becomes a chore. In fact, I often felt like I was cast in the role of a police officer, sifting through a mountain of evidence while trying to get at the truth. But, as I’m sure any copper would readily tell you, police work, ultimately, is a slog, and so, I’m afraid, was this novel. RM

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