Planet 234

Helle Michelsen reviews
by Alison Layland and
The Levels
by Helen Pendry

by Alison Layland

Honno £8.99

Alison Layland’s new novel Riverflow and Helen Pendry’s first novel The Levels both deal in suspense arising from the conflict between principled individuals and unprincipled big business. Riverflow is set in Shropshire. A young couple, Bede and Elin, have inherited a stretch of land along a river bank from Bede’s uncle Joe. They are trying to live sustainably and in harmony with nature. Local villagers inevitably point fingers and accuse them of being feckless hippies. Bede is very knowledgeable about green approaches to technical problems, but his enthusiasm for new ways of thinking only makes matters worse: intellectuals are liked even less than hippies. Joe died prematurely, drowned in a major flood. Bede suspects this was no accident as Joe had refused to sell his land to a fracking company. While Elin is supportive and protective of Bede, she realises that the general hostility toward him lays him open to paranoia. So was Joe deliberately killed, or is it all in Bede’s head? And why is a handsome young guitarist suddenly hanging around the place?

Sign in to read more
Subscribe here