25 June 2015 Unlocked content from the archive. @booksandpublishing
Tania Chandler’s debut novel centres on one woman’s hallucinations and nightmares about Kurt Cobain. It’s an unusual premise, and before long it’s apparent that the Kurt Cobain of Brigitte’s visions is not necessarily the grunge legend himself but someone who met with a similarly tragic fate. Split into three sections, Please Don’t Leave Me Here
opens with a series of strained interactions between Brigitte and her detective husband. The pair met when he investigated a murder case that she was implicated in 14 years ago, and it seems like their relationship has never really evolved beyond interrogation and evasion. When the case is reopened, tensions between them erupt. Chandler’s plotting is skilful, but a surfeit of description, combined with a protagonist who doesn’t seem all that resourceful, gets in the way of narrative drive. The references to Kurt Cobain also grow old quickly. Overall, Please Don’t Leave Me Here
is a satisfying blend of literary chick-lit and noir crime that will appeal to readers of Gillian Flynn and Mary Kubica.
Hilary Simmons is a former assistant editor at Books+Publishing and a freelance reviewer and journalist