Review: Through the Cracks by Honey Brown


Title: Through the Cracks

Author: Honey Brown

Published: Michael Joseph: Penguin April 2014

Status: Read from April 21 to 22, 2014 — I own a copy   {Courtesy the publisher}

My Thoughts:

“Within the space of one week Adam grew strong enough to stop him. Somewhere in those seven days a tipping point had been reached….
‘Don’t touch me.’
‘What did you say to me?’
Adam straightened his elbow and shoved his father in the chest.”

After enduring years of confinement and abuse at the hands of his father, Joe, Adam finally pushes back, but having secured his freedom he has no idea what to do with it…until Billy finds him. Placing his trust in the streetwise teen, Adam tentatively ventures beyond his suburban prison for the first time in years, but no matter the direction the pair take to escape, their past refuses to let them go.

Through The Cracks is an intense and provocative read, though not quite the thriller, I have come to expect from Honey Brown. Delving into the darkest recesses of society, Brown explores the fates of two very different young boys and their struggle to survive, and move on from, a shared history of abuse, exploitation and neglect.

Though ultimately a story of hope, Through the Cracks is not an easy read. Written with brutal realism, the themes are disturbing, and certain details, though never gratuitous, can be confronting. Most readers will find themselves heart sore and indignant as Adam and Billy evoke sympathy and admiration, their tormentors engender disgust, and those that fail the boys provoke outrage and guilt, while raising questions about society’s failure to protect its most vulnerable members.

Through the Cracks is a powerfully affecting tale but I think the publisher does a huge disservice to the book by linking Nathan Fisher’s and Adam’s identities in the blurb. It blunts the revelations that come as the story unfolds, and while still an absorbing read, I found there were very few surprises, and little suspense.

Through the Cracks is available to purchase from

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12 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Rowena Holloway
    Apr 22, 2014 @ 21:35:50

    Great review. I agree with you about the blurb, Shellyrae. It completely kills the twist.



  2. kathrynsinbox
    Apr 22, 2014 @ 21:50:36

    Brilliant, honest review.



  3. Patty
    Apr 23, 2014 @ 02:38:43

    This is definitely a new author for me…sounds interesting!



  4. 1girl2manybooks
    Apr 23, 2014 @ 09:53:13

    I totally agree with you too that the blurb really ruins a huge part of the story. I still loved the book but the first part of the blurb needs to be wiped out so that the reader can put things together, not be waiting for everyone else in the story to do so.



  5. Honey Brown
    Apr 23, 2014 @ 11:57:42

    Hi Shelleyrae, I wish to thank you warmly and sincerely for your honest review. I respect your feedback very much, and I’ll admit to feeling concern as I wrote, and after finishing the novel, that my usual suspense level wasn’t there. You’ve insightfully picked up on this. I’ll also put forward your advice to Penguin about the blurb. If the novel makes it into B format, or if it’s picked up overseas, we can hopefully tweak it and stop any chance of it being a spoiler. Much kudos to you for being a brave reviewer. The considered way you go about it makes your comments and points so valuable to readers and authors. Very best, Honey x



    • shelleyrae @ Book'd Out
      Apr 23, 2014 @ 17:05:58

      You are welcome Honey, I hope the review made it clear I think Through the Cracks is compelling and wonderfully written, just that Penguin (and I do love Penguin) got the marketing wrong this time. I hope they do reconsider it for the second printing x



  6. Teddyree
    Apr 30, 2014 @ 20:59:23

    Quite inadvertently I read Through the Cracks in the best possible way … without reading the blurb. But even without the blurb spoilers, I found it more of a character study than a suspenseful read, which was good because the difficult subject matter was more than enough intensity for me. Great review Shelleyrae, a number of readers have made the same point as you, hopefully Penguin will take it on board and make some changes.



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