The wonderfully striking cover of The Crash, with its jagged shards against a polished silver background effectively suggests the drama within. Sophie and her best friend Tye are watching television together when a car crashes through the lounge window, almost destroying the house-and Tye, who is taken to hospital in a coma-`the ghost of her best friend.’ The crashed car contained twins, Harry and Gemma and a local charismatic petty criminal, Deano, to whom Gemma was in thrall.
Complications arise when a strong mutual attraction develops between Sophie and Harry, apparently the driver of the car. Their necessarily secret relationship mirrors Gemma and Deano`s, but the latter has undercurrents of bullying and violence and exists only in Deano’s underground world of criminal activity, into which Gemma is dangerously drawn. Drakeford adds Sophie’s next door neighbour Issy to this complex mix of shifting loyalties, as the victim of the domestic violence meted out to both her and her Polish mother by her mother’s vicious boyfriend, Dave and a witness to the aftermath of the crash.
These shadowy worlds of threat and danger are carefully juxtaposed through the device of a multiple-layered narrative which shifts skilfully backwards and forwards through time. The effect of this is to gradually and tantalisingly peel back the layers behind which characters hide from what they most wish to conceal-Sophie’s relationship with Harry, Gemma’s with Deano, Tye’s with Jordan, Issy’s fear for her mother’s life. This is a rich and complex story which tackles a number of difficult issues pertinent to contemporary society: it is sincere, gripping and enlightening.