Book review: The Diver’s Clothes Lie Empty

YOU’RE not supposed to judge a book by it’s cover, but in the case of The Diver’s Clothes Lie Empty, the mysterious cover is incredibly fitting for this enigmatic psychological thriller.

Vendela Vida

Atlantic Books, €18.99; ebook €10.20

The story starts with a nameless American woman travelling alone to distant Morocco.

Throughout the novel there’s a series of increasingly strange events — bag theft, stolen identities, an appearance from singer-songwriter Patti Smith and a ‘run-in’ with a very famous Hollywood film star — which escalates in the revelation of what caused the heroine to flee to this far-flung location by herself.

For her fourth novel, author Vendela Vida has made the unusual choice to write in the second-person singular, so that everything is described from the point of view of “you” doing it.

It’s an effective device that puts the reader squarely in the shoes of the protagonist, making this already taut mystery thriller even more of an intense read.


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