This week I read:
I just started:
This book was suspenseful. It kept my attention, my eyes racing over the pages so quickly that at times I thought I smelled smoke. I enjoyed the story very much, but there was something off, something lacking.
I can’t quite pinpoint what kept this book from being 5 stars for me. There was a lot of telling versus showing, which most writers will agree is one of those criticisms that make your eyes roll completely out of your head and onto the floor, but there’s merit in the comment. If left unbalanced, the rhythm of the text morphs into something that reads like a grocery list. It lacks sophistication, creating an, “and then, and then, and then,” feeling.
The plot was good, and I’m not one of those readers that has problems suspending belief, but there were some things that rubbed me the wrong way, like a tag abrading the back of my neck. It felt uncomfortable and wrong and I just couldn’t buy the characters’ actions. All that said, I really did enjoy the book. Parts of it were chillingly fresh and horrific! Had I read it another week, a different day, perhaps I would have rated it 5 stars instead of 4.45. A quick read and worth the time you’ll spend with it.
Sometimes, when you wait for a book long enough, it’s impossible for it to live up to the expectations you’ve developed. I think that happened here. I loved the book, loved the story, but when considered against Tana French’s other books, it paled a little in comparison.
In French’s characteristic style, she’s deep inside her character’s head. The character is well developed. She knows who this person is. But I almost got the impression that she didn’t like this character as much as the others whose point of view she’s written from in the past. Maybe it’s me, though – maybe my interpretation is skewed.
Another thing missing from this book is the hint of the supernatural. Please don’t misunderstand, French never goes fantasy or sci-fi or horror, and maybe supernatural is the wrong word to use, but there’s usually a finely woven thread of otherness, the strange or unexplainable, that creates an added depth to her work. Still, a 5 star book that I recommend to my fellow mystery lovers.
This book! Powerful prose oozing with ominousness, the pages practically sticky with sinisterness! The timeline was a little jumpy, disconcerting at first, but the pattern is quickly established and I soon developed a strange appreciation for it. The chapters alternate present and past, with the present moving forward, the past lapsing deeper and deeper into days gone by.
The reader is filled with anticipation while being unable to pinpoint the cause of suspense, knowing only that menace lurks somewhere in the shadows nearby. It was literary without being dull or boring, the refined edges sharp enough to cut yourself on. I can’t say I understood all of the slang, but I thoroughly enjoyed my time with the main character, an Aussie living on a remote island off the coast of Britain. A quick read that portrays a perfect example of how to break the rules of grammar the right way. Impactful writing, eloquent imagery, a beautiful work of art. 5 stars!