Synopsis (from Amazon)
Set in Birmingham, The News Where You Are tells the funny, touching story of Frank, a local TV news presenter. Beneath his awkwardly corny screen persona, Frank is haunted by disappearances: the mysterious hit and run that killed his predecessor Phil Smethway; the demolition of his father’s post-war brutalist architecture; and the unmarked passing of those who die alone in the city. Frank struggles to make sense of these absences while having to report endless local news stories of holes opening up in people’s gardens and trying to cope with his resolutely miserable mother. The result is that rare thing: a page-turning novel which asks the big questions in an accessible way, and is laugh-out-loud funny, genuinely moving and ultimately uplifting.
I really liked Catherine O’Flynn’s What was Lost so I was excited when I saw that she had a new book out. I must admit that well I found this book had a certain something to it it didn’t hook me the way that What was Lost did, I can’t imagine remembering much about The News Where you are in a couple of years. I think actually what I liked the most about it was that it was set in Birmingham and I could recognise places from it. I did think the characters were really well written, I liked Mo especially because she had that seriousness that is kind of funny and cute in kids. I like Frank’s Mum too, she was kinda sarcastic and funny too. It wasn’t really what I expected. The blurb on the back of the book didn’t really describe it very well. I had the impression that Phil’s mysterious death was the main plot line but actually it wasn’t even a plot at all till half way through, and then it was only a niggling thought. It didn’t become a major plot until the end and then it wasn’t because Frank was investigating it.