Trevor reviews Caught, by Lisa Moore


2013 mooreTrevor has posted his review of Caught, by Lisa Moore (click here for his full review) so all three Shadow Juror blogs have now looked at that novel. Scroll down for the first paras of Kimbofo’s review and links to both her full review and mine. Here is how Trevor starts his thoughts:

On to my third book of this year’s Giller Prize shortlist, and again I find myself confronting a familiar name: Lisa Moore. Her books Open and Alligator were each shortlisted for the Giller Prize, and her previous novel February was longlisted for the Booker Prize. So her name is familiar to me, but I have never read any of those books. And while I enjoyed Caught (2013), I’m afraid it’s not a book that makes me anxious to go read more Moore.

I’m surprised I didn’t like Caught, actually. It was one of the titles on the shortlist I was most looking forward to. A seasoned author writing about a fated criminal. But there was something in the gravity of Moore’s prose that didn’t fit. I’ll try to explain.

But first, a bit of the setup: The book begins in Nova Scotia in 1978. On the evening before his twenty-fifth birthday, David Slaney is escaping from a prison where he’s been for four years on drug smuggling charges. As he makes his way from the prison, he knows he needs to run but feels he should stay still, and vice versa he knows he needs to stay still but feels he should run. Certain he’s going to get caught, he’s amazed that he actually gets away. On the outside, his old friend Brian Hearn has set up an escape plan, and they’re planning to meet up again to do one last big job: two-tons of marijuana from Colombia to Canada.

Hot on his tail is Officer Patterson. In fact, we soon learn that the police are trailing Slaney — let him escape successfully, in fact — so they could catch their bigger prize: the friendly, deceptive Hearn.

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