Book Review: The Tick and the Tock of the Crocodile Clock by Kenny Boyle

Sometimes I worry my mind isn’t on my side. I feel like it’s lying to me. Actually, forget it.

Forget I said anything.

A book with a grey cover and deep pink writing is being held in front of some flowers by a brown hand.

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I got the opportunity to read this book as part of a tour with @Lovebooktours. Admittedly, I don’t read thrillers as often as I could, but something about this book really piqued my interest — it seemed so unique. I was NOT disappointed at all!! This stunning book was grim, clever, relatable, quirky, insightful, poignant… and I found that it caused two unusual things to happen to me:

  1. I flew threw it in one sitting.
  2. I cracked the spine (please, no stones).

That being said, I think that the main character, Wendy, would forgive me. I found her to be authentic and kind. She was also a great example of a high-functioning anxious person. Her experiences and the way she told them made me want to hug her tight. She’s an over thinker, a pleaser, a creative… and completely chaotic. Her unreliable narration was both brilliant and endearing. And due to some ingenious story crafting, her unreliableness was not that difficult to keep up with, but enough to keep you on your toes!

Wendy’s friendship with Cat was really charming. I really loved them and their beautiful, witty exchanges. They had so much chemistry and it was easy to see why they became friends so easily. Cat was intelligent and inspiring. I also had a special place in my heart for Wendy’s Gran!

‘I believe,’ Cat says.

‘In what?’ I ask.

‘In you,’ Cat fills in.

This story conveyed the multiple stressors and dilemmas people face in life, along with the difference between internal and external responses to them. I admired the way that the author showed mental health issues. The dark humour is maybe not characteristic of a conventional thriller, and you may be forgiven for thinking of this as being more along the lines of literary (I certainly did), but there was oodles of tension and it really worked for me.

This captivating debut has left me certain that I will be buying the author’s future work!

Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟/5

TW: Death, drugs


Format read: Paperback
Pages: 292
Genre: Thriller 
Published: May 2022

Wendy just wants to be a poet. So how comes she’s on the run after an art heist?

An aspiring writer from the Southside of Glasgow, Wendy is in a rut. She tries to brighten her call-center job by shoehorning as many long words as possible into conversations with customers. But her manager isn’t amused by that and, after a public dressing-down, Wendy walks out.

Jobless and depressed, she finds consolation in a surprise friendship with another disgruntled ex-colleague, wild-child painter Cat, who encourages her to live more dangerously. It’s just what Wendy needs and it’s also brilliant for her creative juices. But a black cloud is about to overshadow this new-found liberation, as well as to put Wendy on the wrong side of the law.

Fresh, insightful and funny, as well as unflinchingly honest about the tougher side of life, Kenny Boyle’s debut novel takes us deep into the psyche of a likeable misfit who treads a fine line between reality and fantasy – and just wants the world to see her true self.

I don’t know what time it is when I go to bed – all the clocks in my house are wrong but I don’t fix them out of principle because if it’s my job to tell them the time then what are they bringing to the relationship?

Do you have any thrillers that you would like to recommend? Let me know in the comments!

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