The Invisible Ones: Book summary and reviews of The Invisible Ones by Stef Penney

The Invisible Ones

A Novel

By Stef Penney

The Invisible Ones
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  • Published in USA  Jan 2012,
    416 pages.

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Book Summary

Small-time private investigator Ray Lovell veers between paralysis and delirium in a hospital bed. But before the accident that landed him there, he'd been hired to find Rose Janko, the wife of a charismatic son of a traveling Gypsy family, who went missing seven years earlier. Half Romany himself, Ray is well aware that he's been chosen more for his blood than his investigative skills. Still, he's surprised by the intense hostility he encounters from the Jankos, who haven't had an easy past. Touched by tragedy, they're either cursed or hiding a terrible secret - whose discovery Ray can't help suspecting is connected to Rose's disappearance...

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Fast-paced, with characters who will live in full color inside the reader's head, Penney delivers an impressive follow-up to her debut bestseller, The Tenderness of Wolves." - Publishers Weekly

"Starred Review. Penney probes the edge-of-civilization otherness of England's Romany (or Gypsies) while presenting a mystery rooted in the stranglehold of family... Another stunner from Penney, highly recommended." - Library Journal

"Penney gives her plot plenty of twists and saves the best for the end, with a truly unforeseen and unpredictable conclusion." - Kirkus Reviews

"She is a true storyteller... she knows how to tell a story, how to reach her readers and hold them from start to finish. Indeed, she may be one of the best storytellers we have at the moment." - The Scotsman (UK)

"Unsentimental, non-judgmental and researched though this is, there's a nagging sense that it doesn't quite ring true. Penney has set herself a brave and heartfelt but almost impossible task." - The Guardian (UK)

"This is a murder mystery unpicked at the seams, turned inside out, and stitched together with threads of myth, old griefs, twisted forms of love and complex family ties into something utterly new and utterly enthralling. Warning: you will not get anything else done till you finish the last page of this book." - Tana French, author of The Likeness and In The Woods

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Reader Reviews

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Rated 5 of 5 of 5 by Diane S.
The Invisible Ones by Stef Penney
This isn't a book that can be rushed through, but a book to slowly savor. Told in alternate chapters by two different narrators, one is a gypsy private detective hired to look for a missing person and the other is a thirteen year old boy who lives with the traveling gypsy family the girl had married in to.
As the book progresses layers are slowly peeled away and more is revealed about the girl, the gypsy culture and family and the narrators personalities and lives. The ending is a stunning reveal. Loved it! ARC provided by publisher.

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Author Information

Stef Penney Author Biography

Stef Penney was born and grew up in Edinburgh. After earning a degree in philosophy and theology from Bristol University, she turned to filmmaking, studying film and TV at Bournemouth College of Art. On graduation she was selected for the Carlton Television New Writers Scheme.

Her debut novel, The Tenderness of Wolves, was an international bestseller and received the prestigious Costa Award. She is also a screenwriter. Her second novel, The Invisible Ones, was published in January 2012.

Author Interview
Link to Stef Penney's Website

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