"The Invisible Ones" by Stef Penney
Private investigator Ray Lovell has been hired by the family of Rose Wood to discover why the Gyspy woman went missing six years earlier. The last whereabouts of Rose were right before she supposedly ran away with a non-Gyspy from her Gypsy husband and her ill newborn child. Her husband's family, the Jankos, are an eclectic, mysterious bunch who are reluctant to let any outsider into their lives. That is why Ray, half-Romany himself, is the only one who can do the job. But the Jankos aren't exactly forthcoming and Ray finds himself deep within a mystery that may have consequences for himself.
The Invisible Ones by Stef Penney is a mystery set in the fascinating world of Gypsies in 1980's England. It is an in-depth and very interesting look at Gypsy culture, something that most people only know from a negative perspective. In this book we see the culture through so many different eyes - the half-Romany who grew up outside of the culture, those who remain deeply a part of the culture and those who grew up in it but left for the outside world.
The narration of the book goes between Ray, as he searches for Rose, and JJ, a young Gypsy boy who is part of the Janko family and is trying to understand what it means to by Gypsy in the larger culture. It was the story that occurred early on in the book of JJ bringing home a girl from school to the Gyspy site and into his trailer and world that really endeared the boy to me. The back and forth between the two did an excellent job in developing the mystery, and the inclusion of future events in which Ray is in the hospital without his memory is an excellent addition.
I did find this book a little slow to get into. It wasn't a book for which I wanted to put aside other things to keep reading. However, as I continued to read that did begin to change and I found myself wrapped up in the world and mystery of the novel. I don't read many mystery novels but this is one that I definitely enjoyed.
For more reviews and thoughts on the book, check out the Penguin Canada blog tour:
I received this book courtesy of Penguin Canada. The opinions expressed above are purely my own and I received no compensation. Thank you to Bronwyn of Penguin Canada for organizing this blog tour.