SHE WAS SENT DOWN…
Cara Lockhart has just commenced a life sentence in HMP North Fern – the newest maximum security women’s prison in the country. She was convicted of a crime she is adamant she didn’t commit.
SHE WAS SET UP…
One morning she wakes up to find her cellmate murdered – shot in the head with a gun that is missing. The door was locked all night, which makes Cara the only suspect.
BUT THAT WAS JUST THE BEGINNING.
Cara needs to clear her name, unravelling an impossible case, with an investigation governed by a prison timetable.
But as Cara starts to learn more about North Fern and the predicament she is in, she finds connections between the past and present that she never could have imagined.
Indeed it seems that her conviction and her current situation might be linked in very strange ways…
Chris McGeorge writes the type of novels that I love to read and even though all of his books are completely different, he gives the locked-in mystery trope always a baffling new spin. In the first novel the objective was to literally get out of a room, in the second novel there was a tunnel where everyone went in but only one person came out and everyone else went missing, and now I had the pleasure of reading about an impossible murder in prison…
This is not a typical prison though, North Fern is one-of-a-kind. The author gives the prison a cool sci-fi vibe with the implementation of electronic cuffs and the replacement of real windows by led screens that only project images of blue skies. They don’t allow visitors in this prison either and if you thought that was horrible, how about having to watch the same fifties movie every single week on movie night for years? Presence mandatory, of course.
This is the place Cara Lockhart is sent to and when her cellmate is murdered, all eyes are on her. I knew she was a convicted murderer – they call her The Butcher – but I believed her. It’s impossible not to sympathise with Cara, she’s easy to like, even identify with, and a clever woman who’s not fooled easily at all. We are not told from the start but intermittent with Cara’s own ‘investigation’ of what is going on the author releases little pieces of the background story that earned her that terrible nickname.
Who, how and why are the million dollar questions and anyone who can solve this puzzle without help shall have my everlasting admiration. I was certainly convinced that someone wanted to set her up but it wasn’t only interested to know who could do this when their cell was locked but, even more interesting was finding out why. Well the truth was a real kicker. I could think of only a few persons capable but I especially enjoyed the shock factor of learning the reasons why all this had happened.
I might not have been the biggest fan of the psychological warfare of the same old movie that Cara had to watch in isolation and the author might have taken it a bit too far there but the plot construction itself was rather genius and it all falls into the right place at the right time.
Inside Out was an exciting read that had me rooting for Cara from the start. It was deviously twisted and I’ve never seen revenge take this kind of proportions. I can’t wait to read his next novel 😃.
I received a free ecopy of this novel from the publisher via Netgalley. This is still my honest opinion.