Thanks to Netgalley and Farrar, Straus, and Giroux for a copy! This did not affect my rating.
When I finished this, my first thought was: “Wow. What a book.”
These days, I don’t read as much mystery as I’d like because of Gone Girl. All the books seem to be around the same thing. Unfaithful (or supposedly unfaithful) spouse, an unreliable narrator, and some sort of drama. All of the books bleed together.
This one, however, was more like You. Everyone has heard of that book by now, but I’ll do a quick recap. The main character of You is deranged but you love him… despite all that he does. You root for him. And that’s how it was in this book. Despite everything, you rooted for something good to happen for Mike, even though you knew that shit had gone down already.
Mike is a good guy who did a bad thing, who had a bad childhood, and who had mental disorders that prevented him from completely realizing what he was doing. He wasn’t a nice guy, yet he was at the same time because of his portrayal. Yet, he was a guy you could understand and like, even if you didn’t support what he was doing. And, he did a lot of bad shit. He did a whole lot of bad shit. Murder is the big one in this story (which isn’t a spoiler because it’s in the description).
Most of this book takes place after everything happened. It’s setting the stage, making us fully understand the situation. It goes to the storyline that pertains the aforementioned murder and also before that so you get to know Verity, Mike’s ex-girlfriend and, in some ways, the catalyst for all of this.
And, I have to say, it was a compelling read. I typically make ARCs my at work lunch read because I always have them on my phone. No bringing hulking books to work with me and keep track of it all. I didn’t want to read it just on the days I work, but I wanted to read it every day. I found myself reading it most days, too.
I really loved the way the story was told. Not all books can handle the constant back and forth in time, going back and then further back, all to finally reach the future. It impressed me.
What impressed me even more was the way Hall made me get attached to all of the characters involved and see where they were at fault, as well as see where they were in the right. I loved how Hall was able to do that without feeling as if my emotions were being manipulated, like I was being forced to sympathize with them.
Sure, this book might be like other books that have come out, but it felt very unique to me and that it was a story well-told. I’d highly suggest it to all mystery lovers.