My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Time taken to read - 3 days
Pages - 374
Publisher - Headline Accent
Source - Review copy
Blurb from Goodreads
WELCOME TO A WORLD WHERE WOMEN HOLD THE POWER.
They dominate workplaces, public spaces and government.
They are no longer afraid to cross a dark car park, catch the last train, or walk home alone.
With the Curfew law in place, all men are electronically tagged and must stay at home after 7pm.
It changed things for the better. Until now.
A woman is murdered late at night and evidence suggests she knew her attacker.
It couldn't have been a man because a Curfew tag is a solid alibi... Isn't it?
Whilst this is a work of fiction I think it hits of some very real and relevant points and issues. Long long history of violence and murders against women, in this book things have turned around. Women have had enough of it and passed a law against women being murdered. Men are all tagged, checks done, they cannot be out within certain hours. And yet now a woman is found brutally murdered but there is no way a man could have done it, is there?
We go through view points of four of the main characters, Pamela - officer, Helen - teacher & in a newish romance, Sarah and Cass - mother and daughter with a very tumultuous relationship. A lot of the characters are very unlikeable to so many reasons. Cass is a bit of a brat, torn over the guidelines to protect women and how it impacted (unfairly in her opinion) on her and her da's life. Pamela trying to do her job and like many officers fighting an uphill battle, politics and almost everyone against the idea that could possibly be a man. And Helen, poor Helen - she seems like such a nice person but the more we learn of her and her relationship the more twitchy I got. Despite the many unlikeable characters it makes for compelling reading, a shady character can be really engaging.
The idea of men being punished purely because of their gender, tagged/tracked, only able to do some jobs due to the restrictions on their gender. The book also brings in assessments for when couples want to live together, have a baby and offers options to terminate pregnancy if the test shows it to be a boy. It pushes boundaries and challenges the reader to live in a world faced with some questionable practices and a lot weighing in on your gender, sound familiar? I love when fiction touches into reality but flips social constructs of accepted ideas that in reality we actually live with.
I think this would be a belter of a book for a reading group/discussion as it will evoke some very emotive responses from readers. 4/5 for me this time and I will absolutely be reading this author again.