AWW2012: The Brotherhood by Y.A. Erskine

The BrotherhoodThe Brotherhood by Yvette Erskine

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This novel was not what I expected.

It starts, almost exactly as I expected, introducing an investigator, a victim and mysteriousness. What exactly happened? And why? The first, brief chapter is very good – lots of detail, no substantial information. And then we plunge in; the story progressing with a different narrator each chapter.

Had it not been for the many positive reviews of this book, coupled with the fact that I have listed it as one for the Australian Women Writers Reading Challenge 2012, I might have put it down. I like stories told from different perspectives, but I found myself wanting to edit things – sentences, phrases, clichés. But somewhere along the way, there was a turning point. It helps to read this in one – or at least only a few – sittings.

This novel is about loyalty. Only the surface is a crime novel. Like all good books should, you’ll think about it long after you have finished reading it.



  1. Glad you found the turning point in the book. When I realize I’m mentally editing, I usually don’t finish the book unless the mystery is compelling enough to skim to the end.


  2. I picked this book up to read for the challenge based on some great reviews so it’s interesting to see that you weren’t so enamoured of it. Thanks for sharing your thoughts

    Shelleyrae @ Book’d Out


    1. I wasn’t enamoured to start off with, but then changed my mind as I continued reading and definitely thought it was very good when reflecting upon it, having finished reading it. So, a recommended read!


  3. Hi Oanh

    Thanks for your review. I saved up reading anything about this book until I’d read it (almost in one sitting). Your comments are spot on. I, too, found myself mentally editing at first, and toward the end wondered if the finish was going to be anti-climactic, but overall found it delivered an engrossing read, a great insight into the “brotherhood” of the Hobart police force, and great story-telling technique. How Erskine manages to make such a compelling narrative without ever repeating the viewpoint of a single character is impressive – especially for a first-time novelist. No wonder her second book has gone into a reprint before it even hits the shelves.


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