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Jansson

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I read therefore I am

Did You See Melody?

Did You See Melody? - Sophie Hannah Not a bad story. I guess it is less a thriller and more or a question. The title asks "Did you see Melody?", but for my mind the pertinent question is "What does justice for Melody look like?" It explores issues around the reporting of crime and the shaping of the perception of crime by the media, which can in turn warp the exercise of justice. It also explores issues around what happens to those who are lack access to justice? Who should they turn to, and is the media an appropriate substitute for a lack of substantive justice?

These questions are addressed in the form of a story that seems to have a touch of hyperrealism about it; some of the events, while not beyond the realms of possibility, appear to be dangerously close to implausibility. I think the redeeming feature is that the story isn't too drawn out. And the hyperrealism is balanced by at least one interesting character, that of Tarin Fry. She is caustic, sassy and refreshingly aware of her own foibles. This allows her the insight to spot others' foibles in a heart beat. I really enjoyed her chutzpah in the wake of Cara Burrows English reticence.

The story put me in mind of what Lindy and Michael Chamberlain were put through as a result of the media manipulation through its selective reporting of the disappearance of their daughter Azaria at Uluru. The only difference is, this story is significantly more lighthearted, not least because it is fiction. But the wilful manipulation of the reporting of events in the story by Bonnie Juno did make me think about the reporting of crimes and how it impacts on justice.

So while a little part of me was often left thinking "oh come on" in the wake of some of the events in the novel, it wasn't so bad that it distracted me from the themes that the novel touched on.