The Way It Is Now is a book that I was kindly sent by Viper Books as a proof copy quite a while ago. After showing my partner my TBR bookshelf which I’ve broken down into books sent to me to review and books I’ve bought – she chose this from the ‘books sent to me’ list. I had absolutely no idea of what the premise of the book would be when I picked it up and, after finishing it, I’m still not 100% confident of what the point of it was.
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Please also note that I was kindly sent this book in return for an honest review.
The Way It Is Now by Garry Disher tells the story of Charlie Deravin who is a cop who is on forced leave after an incident at work. 20 years ago, when he was very young, Charlie’s mother went missing and many people considered her murdered. His father was the prime suspect but he refused to believe it. Now, decades later, a new house is being built and the skeletal remains of a woman have been found and his world might be about to change.
The Way It Is Now plot – 3.5/5
I have to say right off the bat that The Way It Is Now had to be one of the more boring books I read this year. I both listened to it on audiobook and read the physical copy and neither version ever really grabbed my attention. One of the key elements to this was that nothing ever really happened. A lot of the book was a mix of narrative and conversations between the characters to try and make them seem a little more interesting.
The pacing was incredibly slow – nothing seemed to be happening with any real urgency and there were never any big sequences either.
The writing was fine though nothing special. It wasn’t particularly poetic or inspiring and didn’t leave me feeling like I’d just read something I needed to tell everybody about.
Unfortunately, The Way It Is Now‘s plot was very forgettable and likely not one that I’m going to be raving about to anybody anytime soon.
The Way It is Now characters – 3.75/5
Unfortunately, the characters in The Way It Is Now were equally uninspiring. Our main protagonist Charlie seems to mumble through life, never really expressing a great deal of emotional intelligence or having a great story arc.
The supporting characters including a supposed love interest didn’t pique my interest at all either, unfortunately. They were fairly monotonous and lacked any real depth.
This is such a shame as I’ve read Still Life recently and that was a book that didn’t have groundbreaking plot moments or massive set pieces but its poetic writing style and genuinely human characters made the plot feel so much more engaging because you cared a lot more. The Way It Is Now just doesn’t do that, unfortunately.
The Way It Is Now final rating – 3.5/5
I don’t want to sound like I’m completely poo-pooing The Way It Is Now but it just didn’t tick any of the boxes that I require from a good book. It wasn’t particularly exciting, nothing really ever happened in the plot, it wasn’t some work of art in literature and the characters weren’t that engaging to read about. I have seen some positive reviews for this with fans of Disher stating it’s a great book. It just really wasn’t for me I’m afraid and won’t be a book I’ll likely remember for very long.