You Belong to Me by Mark Tilbury

A review of the psychological revenge thriller You Belong to Me by Mark Tilbury.

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You Belong to Me is a story about families and friends within the backdrop of a missing schoolchild. Nearly ten years ago, a young girl went missing, presumed abducted. Her body was never found. In the present day, another girl is abducted in similar circumstances. Four old school-friends decide they will try to find out what has happened, finally coming to the somewhat inevitable conclusion that someone they know is likely responsible, or at least involved. Mostly set in the past, this book explores and muses upon an age-old question: do two wrongs ever make a right?

Although advertised as a psychological thriller, this was more a story about revenge. The four main characters—Danny, Josh, Kieran and Rob—are interesting enough, and Mark Tilbury has managed to keep each of their personas consistent, both in the past and the present day. Each of the protagonists has their own issues and the author handles these adequately, although, at times, they do come across as whiney. Danny’s family is complicated, the reader learns that his father died in an accident a few years ago and his mother has never recovered. He has an older brother, Calum, who is extremely mean to Danny.

The author uses an interesting technique to bring the characters together. The reader gets to know them, deeply, before discovering their connection to Danny. The relationships between the four friends are well-written and consistent with their personalities. The only problem is that I had no major feelings towards any of them. The only individual I really disliked was Danny’s brother, Calum.

I felt the book was long-winded and could have been half the length. It also contains violence towards animals, which I found unnecessary and made me skip parts of the novel.

With all that in mind, I didn’t enjoy this book, but I realise I am overly-sensitive to animal cruelty. However, if that sort of thing doesn’t bother you, You Belong to Me could be worth a read.

Cassidy grew up in Thanet and lives here with her family.

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