This Monday is proving to be quite the struggle, but I’m trying to keep upbeat and reflecting on the books that have kept me entertained on the commute this month – for better or for worse…
:: The Woman Next Door – Cass Green
This quasi-farcical adventure tells the story of glamorous Mel and her dowdy neighbor Hester as they’re a thrown together in disposing of the body of a character from Mel’s carefully hidden past. Once close, Hester has been ignored by Mel for several years and she sees this as an opportunity for them to bond and a way to keep Mel forever in her life – how could anyone be ignored when they’re keeping a secret as big as this one? The story is darkly humorous as these two fumble their way through covering up a crime that they’re clearly not cut out for.
:: While You Were Sleeping – Kathryn Croft
This had all the elements for a great thriller and I was excited to start reading. When Tara wakes up naked in her married neighbour’s bed and finds that he’s been stabbed to death she flees across their suburban cul-de-sac to the safety of her own house and waits as the investigation into his murder starts – but while she is certain of her own innocence the same can’t be said for those close to her. Unfortunately I really didn’t enjoy this book and as it continued I found that it got more and more implausible, the writing style is distracting, the protagonist hugely irritating and the killer felt like a bit of an afterthought. Ultimately I struggled through (because I’m no quitter) but was left feeling disappointed.
:: Behind Closed Doors – B. A. Paris
From the outside Jack and Grace seem to have it all, he’s handsome and wealthy, she’s graceful and charming, they are living in their dream house and enjoying all the trappings of his professional success. But things aren’t always as they seem from the outside and Jack is hiding a dark side.
I really wanted to like this book as it had the makings of a great psycho-thriller but (and I didn’t really think this was possible) it was way too dark, gratuitously so, I felt that when you uncover the depths of Jack’s plan the author had taken it a step too far.
:: The Hypnotist’s Love Story – Lianne Moriarty
Hypnotist Ellen meets Mr. Right (Patrick) only to find that he comes with some significant baggage as a widower, with a young son, and an ex-girlfriend Saskia who, after the breakdown of their relationship and loss of her mother, has devoted her life to tailing him everywhere.
Initially viewing her as nothing more than an intriguing inconvenience, Ellen is forced to take notice of Saskia as her behavior takes on more of a sinister note when she discovers that the hypnotist is pregnant.
While this wasn’t my favourite Moriarty novel it was entertaining and you can’t help but feel for poor Saskia, though you know that you shouldn’t. As well as the obvious issues of stalking and harassment, Moriarty has woven interesting touches on hypnotism, addiction, obsession and professional ethics throughout the novel. Her characters are quirky and her story-telling voice is unique.
Have any of you got thoughts on any of these? I’ve already started reading ‘Ready Player One’ which isn’t my usual style at all – but I’m loving it and excited to share my thoughts on it next month.