Not thrilling or suspenseful
20 years ago saw a daughter and her family devasted when six teenage girls went missing and her father confessed to their murders. Now, after gaining a semi-normal life, it's starting to happen again, or could it be paranoia playing tricks with her mind?
I had issues on two fronts with this book. The initial being from the first page of chapter one. I knew exactly what kind of person the character was and immediately disconnected. As I continued through the story and getting to know the character more in various parts of their lives, their issues just kept piling up and getting worse and the reading just became tedious after a point. This character has an inherent distrust of people, especially men in their lives – rightly so to an extent, but their chosen field of work is based on trust. This character is also trying to help others when they can’t even help themselves. Just to name a couple of their issues. To be fair, the author created a very realistic character and did an amazing job, but not necessarily a character I could get behind. You’re supposed to want to root for certain characters, not want to throttle them, right?
The other issues were various things throughout the entire book that marred what could have been a much better story.
- Character 1 is shutting down at work at 5pm, but a couple pages later it is suddenly 7:30pm and they only sent an email and made a call. It took that long?
- A handcuffed character has a cut on their head and the blood is trickling down the bridge of their nose, but the character “doesn’t bother to wipe it away.” Of course, they can’t, they are handcuffed behind their back.
- Author mentions a strike against a particular character for wearing blue blockers – glasses made for people who wish they had glasses. Blue blockers are glasses that block the blue light from a computer, so you don’t strain your eyes when looking at the screen for hours on end. They have nothing to do with wanting to look like you wear glasses.
- Author claims that journalists twisting facts against the murderer’s family is victim blaming. The family of the murderer are not victims, the teens he killed are. So, if they said the teens got killed because they did such and such, then that would be victim blaming. Claiming the murderer killed because of things his family did is simply twisting the facts to sell the story.
- Character 1 thinks what Character 2 says is a confession of the most recent murders. No, it’s not. It clearly shows that they’ve never committed a murder in their life and Character 1 should know that considering their field.
- Character 2 has tense, threatening interaction with Character 1. Scene cuts and Character 2 is suddenly leaving. Why? Character 1 even mentions that they are proud with how they got Character 2 to leave, but we are left in the dark.
- Character 1 is referring to lightning bugs (aka fireflies) here, “…the air around me buzzing with the familiar electrical charge.” There is no electrical charge when you have lightning bugs around you. Their light is from a chemical reaction in their body, they don’t produce electricity itself.
Though I found some parts of the story to be predictable, there were other parts that weren’t, which was nice. The story moved along at a steady pace. It didn’t have sections that weren’t pertinent to what the author was creating, which was more psychological than suspenseful. The story overall kept moving forward and only had one small plot hole which I already mentioned. Not dire to the story, but noticeable.
Mechanically and grammatically the story was solid, with only a couple mistakes I noted. The character building and dialogue was on point and though I couldn’t relate to the characters necessarily, they had depth and felt like real people.
I think this was a good debut novel. It can only improve from here, especially with better developmental editing, and I’d be willing to give her next novel a chance.
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