With just 24 hours to go until the winners are announced, we continue our reviews of the CKG 2018 shortlisted titles. Here Emma shares her thoughts on Saint Death by Marcus Sedgwick:
What the publisher says…
A potent, powerful and timely thriller about migrants, drug lords and gang warfare set on the US/Mexican border by prize-winning novelist, Marcus Sedgwick.
What we say…
Saint Death is absolutely gripping from start to finish. It’s a pulsating narrative and the pace and urgency of the plot, along with the increasing desperation of the main character, Arturo, are perfectly reflected in the structure of the story, in which short chapters are interspersed with newspaper cuttings, quotations and thoughts.
The setting is one of the main things that really stood out for me with this book. Sedgwick is uncompromising in throwing the reader straight into the harsh reality of Arturo’s world.
Just as the city of Juarez (which pulses off the page) has an unceasing hold over Arturo, this book had a hold over me – I read it in a day and continued thinking about it long afterwards. This is a really immersive novel that highlights some big issues around immigration, inequality and hope / desolation; and definitely meets the criteria of “having gone through a vicarious, but at the time of reading, a real experience that is retained afterwards.”
See Marcus Sedgwick talk about Saint Death here: http://www.carnegiegreenaway.org.uk/watch.php?id=7
View the full CKG 2018 shortlists here: