Curfew by Jayne Cowie is a thought provoking thriller set in a future society where different measures have been put in place to protect women. Measures include a curfew where men must now wear tagged ankle monitors, adhere to a nightly curfew and must pass through different counseling sessions before living with a woman. The world is now in favor of women’s wellbeing and men are now monitored with less options available to them.
The story opens with a startling find of a dead woman which is rare within this society and the new rules. Alternating between several different women who are all connected with the mysterious murder we begin by meeting Pamela, the police officer on the case who is almost ready to retire. Pamela has seen what kind of trouble occurred before curfew was started and has an open mind as to which sex may have commited this crime. Following Pamela we meet Sarah and teenager Cass, our mother daughter duo who are at odds as they navigate the release of Cass’s father from prison for breaking curfew. We meet the naive Helen who has begun cohabiting with her boyfriend and dreams of a magical life while managing being Cass’s teacher at school, Lastly we meet Mabel who is Helen’s dependable best friend and Sarah’s co-worker at the tagging clinic.
Jayne Cowie describes this idyllic society in such a way where one can almost picture this reality and readers empathize with each of the characters as the narrative effortly changes between all these women. Jayne does a great job keeping readers in suspense over who the mysterious victim is and who the killer is as police race to identify the woman and the murderer. Showing her talent as an author Jayne keeps from villainizing the characters until the pivotal moment where their nature is undeniably exposed. A page turner from the start, readers are left to wonder who really holds the power- men or women?
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