Paperback, 386 Pages
By: Clare Mackintosh
“Everything has changed. The instant the car slid across the wet tarmac, my whole life changed. I can see everything clearly, as though I am standing on the sidelines. I can’t go on like this.”
I got this book because it was on sale and it had many positive reviews and I did not know much more than that. I prefer to go into mystery/ thriller novels with as few info as possible. I think the book was okay overall.
The story opens with a prologue of five year old Jacob who is murdered in a hit and run accident and then we have two main POV in the story, that of inspector Ray who is investigating this accident and that of Jenny whose life has changed after the accident and seeing Jacob die. She is moving somewhere else to start a new life.
The writing was okay, I did not love it but it was not bad. I hated the abbreviations used regarding the police because it assumes the reader is familiar with them and even a Google search did not help me find what they referred to. One POV is written in first person and the other in third person and it took a while to get used to that because the transition kind of threw me off at first.
I think that Mackintosh focused on the plot twists mainly which affected the other story elements. The plot twist did not blow my mind because I kind of saw that coming as I read similar things before -and did not see it coming then but now I did so I can still understand people who thought it was brilliant- and I think this twist won’t work for everyone.
I did not have a strong connection to the characters because they felt like they had a mold that they had to fit into. I felt bad for Jenny and I can’t say that I enjoyed her part in a literal way because it involved torturing and many graphic scenes. Inspector Ray’s part however feels very incomplete and it was like there were many chapters for him without a closure, the only thing I see is that the whole part just helped in the solution of an important hint in the investigation which should have been more obvious. I can not say much without spoilers but if you read it, you probably know what I am talking about.
“In the time he’d been a copper, political correctness had reached a point where anything remotely personal had to be skirted around. In a few years’ time people wouldn’t be able to talk at all.”
Summary: I think overall it was an average read, specially for someone who is used to the best of the genre. The writing was good, the characters were okay and there was so much focus on the plot twists -which I still found predictable- affecting other things. And if I am gonna talk about plot lines then Ray’s story ended in a weird way for me. I am glad I read this and cleared it from my TBR at least!
Most publishers love predictable plots that deliver what readers are expecting. Reviewers have usually higher expectations of a book that is styled as a thriller.
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