Wednesday, 12 March 2014

The Escape - Lynda la Plante

The Escape (Quick Read 2014)The Escape by Lynda La Plante
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

'Is a change of identity all it takes to leave prison?
Colin Burrows is desperate. Recently sent to prison for burglary, he knows that his four year sentence means that he will miss the birth of his first child. With his wife's due date fast approaching, he had hoped that the prison authorities would allow him to be present for the birth, but they have said no.
Sharing a cell with Colin is Barry Marsden. Unlike most of the inmates, Barry actually likes prison life because he has come from a very difficult family and been in and out of a series of foster homes. In prison, he has three meals a day and he has discovered a talent for drawing. So he is upset that he will have to leave on parole soon.
Sad to see his cellmate looking depressed, Barry hatches a plan to get Colin out of jail for the birth. It's a plan so crazy that either it will fail and get both men in deeper trouble, or it might just work. 
Bestselling author Lynda La Plante's exciting tale of one man's escape from jail is based on a true story.'

I have never read a book by Lynda La Plante before and I didn't really know what to expect. I didn't think I would enjoy it too much, I must say I was pleasantly surprised.

This is a short little novella that had me hooked from the beginning. Colin is in prison and his wife is due to have a baby, he has asked to be released for the birth of his child but has been refused. He sinks into depression and the guards are worried about him. They move him into another cell where he meets his new cell mate Barry.

Barry is younger than Colin and has some learning difficulties. Colin just wants to be left alone but Barry is under strict instructions to cheer him up. They form a good friendship over the next few months, when Barry hears about Colin's problem with not being at the birth of his baby, Barry wants to do all he can to help.

Together they come up with a plan that if works will allow Colin to be by his wife's side. As the days get closer Colin becomes more anxious but feels he can't back out as Barry has worked hard for him.

Will he see his baby?

I thought I was not going to enjoy the story but I did, I read this in about an hour - I couldn't put it down, I was routing for Colin to visit his wife in hospital and wanted to see them have a happy ending. The way the story is written you flow through it and then look up and realised you have already read half! The characters are described well and you care about them.

This is a brilliant short story that is well worth a read, what made it even better for me was finding out that it is based on a true story at the end.

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