A Common Loss

by Kirsten Tranter (Quercus) ISBN 978-0-85738-275-7

Five friends, Dylan, Elliot, Brian, Tallis and Cameron, meet in college. After graduation they continue to have their annual reunion in Las Vegas. This year is different though, as one of the five, Dylan, has been killed in a motorcar accident. This "common loss" reveals secrets about the remaining friends that change their friendship forever.


Dylan was adopted and has a younger brother, Colin, who lives in Las Vegas. Colin now wants his late brother's friends to help his brother keep his promises of helping him to elevate his social status.


The story analyses the feelings of Elliot who grapples with his loss and what his friendships and relationships mean to him - those lost, those on-going and potential new ones.


If you want to know what Las Vegas is like, this book describes it well - from the kitsch replicas of famous sights around the world to the gambling, sex, drinking and drug-taking.


An interesting concept, but written in a style that is not easy to read, with too many descriptions about unimportant scenery and flashbacks that are too detailed.


Amanda Blankfield


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