Year Published (UK) – 2016
First Line – ‘In hindsight, I should have known right away that something wasn’t quite right.’
I wouldn’t always choose a psychological thriller, preferring murder mystery, but it is an end of the crime genre I do occasionally enjoy and I was delighted when I won a hardback copy of this book via a blog giveaway. It was a chance to try something new from a new and highly respected author.
I often shy away from reviewing books that I didn’t enjoy that much. If a book just wasn’t for me then I move on to the next one but I want this blog to contain balanced reviews and so that means reviewing the ones that were just a bit ‘meh’ *shrugs shoulders*.
You’re probably shouting at the screen right now because Mary Kubica is a New York Times bestseller and each one of her books are much awaited.
The story starts with Quinn, who’s flat mate has gone missing and she blames herself. In a different state Alex observes a new customer in the cafe where he works and becomes obsessed with her and what she is doing in his town. Their stories build and collide as the conclusion is reached.
So why didn’t I like it? There were two main reasons, the pacing and the writing style.
I felt the pacing was very slow, snail’s pace in fact with not much actually happening until the end when everything seems to happen in the last four chapters. There’s an art to building suspense and I admire it but this book just annoyed me. Rather than making me want to find out more I found the characters were self indulgent and not really telling us much about the plot, focussing on their own back stories rather than that of the victim that had gone missing. The mystery in the book – where Esther Vaughan has disappeared to – played second fiddle to the internal self-loathing of Quinn or the teenage struggles of Alex.
The second point which took something away from the story for me was the writing style. Despite being told through the eyes of two different people of very different ages and backgrounds the voices were the same throughout the book. They weren’t clearly distinguishable which made it difficult to get a grip on the real characters.
Was there anything I liked?
Of course! Mary Kubica’s descriptions of place take you right there and the style of moving from one character to another as they tell the story is an irresistible one for me, but in the end this book just missed the mark .
If you like psychological thrillers this is definitely that but I will say it’s heavily character focused and almost feels like a coming of age journey for Alex and Quinn, leaving the reader, or at least me, a little confused as to what all that was about.
Have you read any of Mary Kubica’s work? What did you think, I’d love to hear. Don’t forget to leave you comments below.
A big thank you to Rebecca Bradley for giving me the opportunity to try Mary Kubica. Check out her blog, ‘Murder To A Tea’ by clicking on the link.