- Nothing Important Happened Today.
- Will Carver.
- 276 pages.
- Psychological Thriller.
- My Rating: Hell Yeah Book Review.
Nine people arrive one night on Chelsea Bridge. They’ve never met. But at the same time, they run, and leap to their deaths. Each of them received a letter in the post that morning, a pre-written suicide note, and a page containing only four words: Nothing important happened today.
That is how they knew they had been chosen to become a part of the People Of Choice: A mysterious suicide cult whose members have no knowledge of one another.
Thirty-two people on that train witness the event. Two of them will be next. By the morning, People Of Choice are appearing around the globe; it becomes a movement. A social media page that has lain dormant for four years suddenly has thousands of followers. The police are under pressure to find a link between the cult members, to locate a leader that does not seem to exist.
How do you stop a cult when nobody knows they are a member?
I received a free copy of this book courtesy of the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
They are the ‘People of Choice‘. Nine strangers, who in a coordinated jump, leap to their death from off Chelsea Bridge. None of them wants to die, they want to live but die, at their own hands they do. Unknowingly they are part of a cult, a movement and by jumping they become part of something.
The morning before they jump they all receive the exact same letter. The only thing that ties them all together, a plain white envelope and inside are two pieces of paper. One is a pre-written suicide note and the has just four typed words on it ‘Nothing important happened today’. Upon receiving the letter it is their time, they have been chosen, they have been called and it is their day to die.
They are the faceless of society, the nameless, those people you pass by on the street and bear no heed to, a nobody. Not celebrities. They are you, they are me, they are the harangued mother in the supermarket, the dad waiting to collect his daughter from school, the checkout staff who serve you, the receptionist who books your appointment, the taxi driver, the factory worker and the bank manager.
The characters in the book are a number, a personality trait and, apart from a couple they remain anonymous and you never find out their names. Using a person’s name makes it personal and knowing a name makes you care. You see the nameless dead as more than just a body and you realise that it is a person, someone’s brother, sister, father, mother, friend or lover. It isn’t some unknown and unnamed stranger who has killed themselves it is a named person. Even if you only know the name from reading it online or, hearing it on the news you still know the name and names like words have power. With no name there is a veil of anonymity, you are a nobody, you are irrelevant and you aren’t a person. To the People of Choice only your death matters, you are a number added to the total kills and nothing more.
Each of the characters has their own life, their own faults, their own flaws and their own issues. Even after their death, you learn more about them, who they were, those that they have left behind and the aftermath of their suicides reverberate. They have had their name taken away from them by the cult. But, in Carver’s hands, they are real people. Real people who didn’t want to die but compelled by the influence of the invisible leader behind the ‘People of Choice’ they go through with committing suicide.
The cult leader, usually a charismatic figurehead, the focal point, is anonymous, hidden in the shadows and elusive. They are the puppet master pulling the strings and staying firmly behind the scenes. After the initial deaths of the nine people who jump from Chelsea Bridge the cult spreads like wildfire, social media blows up and the ‘People of Choice‘ morphs into its own kind of monster. As people start killing themselves around the world in the name of the ‘People of Choice’ the movement becomes a worldwide phenomenon.
Nothing Important Happened Today is a thriller. It takes a while for the detective to actually appear but, there is a detective and the police are fervently hunting for the identity of the cult leader and looking for connections between the dead. There are also bountiful references to cults and serial killers from history spread throughout the pages and the book partly reads like a ‘how-to’ guide on how to build a cult. A manifesto, a manual and a cutting commentary on how to create, grow and maintain a cult, the mistakes behind why the cult fails, why the serial killer was caught and the mentality behind cult leaders and serial killers.
The writing is fast-paced and snappy with short chapters that serve to propel the story forward. The story is dark, whip-smart, tackles a sensitive and tough subject, is both uncomfortable and graphic in places and is put together in a very intelligent way.
After finishing Nothing Important Happened Today I wasn’t quite sure what I’d just finished reading as it is like nothing I’ve read before. But, I knew that it was clever, devilish, disturbing and stylish with a vein of black humour coursing through the pages.
Nothing Important Happened Today is a book that raises its middle finger to conformity, to genre, walks its own path and it is brilliant.
Pre-order Nothing Important Happened Today (ebook out now) and paperback released on November 14th, 2019.
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