Nine suicides. One cult. No leader.
Nine people arrive one night on Chelsea Bridge. They’ve never met. But, at the same time, they leap to their deaths. Each of them received a letter in the post that morning, a pre-written suicide note, and a page containing only four words: Nothing important happened today.
That is how they knew they had been chosen to become a part of The People of Choice: a mysterious suicide cult whose members have no knowledge of one another. Thirty-two people on a train witness the event. Two of them will be next. By the morning, People of Choice are appearing around the globe. It becomes a movement. A social-media page that has lain dormant for four years suddenly has thousands of followers. The police are under pressure to find a link between the cult members, to locate a leader that does not seem to exist.
But how do you stop a cult when people do not know they are members?
Nothing Important Happened Today is, in a word, extraordinary.
Another word you might choose would be ‘dark’. And hoo boy, is it dark. I thought that Will Carver’s previous book, Good Samaritans was dark (and it most definitely is), but that’s like a little ray of sunshine on a bright spring morning compared with this, Carver’s latest. It’s like nothing I’ve ever read before. And I read a *lot*.
Trigger warnings – if you hadn’t guessed from the synopsis above, Nothing Important Happened Today deals with suicide. And lots of it. And up close and very visceral in places. Very much not for the faint-hearted.
So, nine people who have never met turn up at the same moment on the same day on the same bridge, and jump to their death. No-one falters. No-one has second thoughts. Yet they all jump as one.
What follows is an absolutely fascinating tale of how they got there, interspersed with perfect miniature portraits of each of the nine, and the others who follow.
It’s Carver’s ability to craft such intimate pictures of their lives is what gives this story such an emotional punch, and it’ll leave you reeling. The pace is breakneck, leaving you absolutely no room to recover. I devoured this in a day.
Good Samaritans showed Carver as an author to watch. Nothing Important Happened Today cements that as an author to watch very very carefully. He’s one of a kind, and part of me is kind of glad. I’m not sure I could handle more than one of him.
Nothing Important Happened Today by Will Carver is published by Orenda Books in November 2019
Many thanks to Karen Sullivan at Orenda Books for the advance copy of Will Carver’s book for review.