Hello Friends! I’m sorry I haven’t been posting much this week. It’s been crazy hectic at work with two late nights and to top it off, my daughter is sick. I hope to be back to my usual schedule next week.
I’ve been putting off this review because I feel like I really suck at reviewing thrillers. I think the selling point of a thriller is mostly the plot, but for exactly that reason it’s not something I want to talk about.
My initial impressions upon starting this, was that there were a lot of view points to follow. I was initially a little confused trying to keep them all straight, but things started coming together after you start following Hess and Thulin (our two detectives). The introduction of new view points remains pretty consistent through out, but it becomes less confusing after the story is established.
The content of this book is super dark. Not only are these killings gruesome (and graphic), but the plot focuses heavily on abused children. I think if I had known that going in I wouldn’t have requested it. As a mother child abuse is a topic I really struggle with, and there were points I almost quit. Not because the book was bad but just because it was really that hard.
The chapters and structure are just what I want for a thriller. Short, chapters and initially very quick pacing. At 500+ pages I do think it is a little bloated for a thriller, and the book dragged a little before approaching the climax. There is a turning point when Hess uncovers some new evidence, and it was full speed ahead from there, almost impossible to put down.
The imagery and tone are eerie and chilling. The author uses a childhood nursery rhyme and a seemingly innocent childhood activity (the making of chestnut men) and turns them into something dark and foreboding. This is a thriller that borders very heavily on horror.
I didn’t guess the ending (at all) so when the big reveal came I was pretty dumbstruck. It didn’t come out of left field or anything and I loved the way all the pieces snapped into place. There is a twist, but it’s not really in regards to the killer’s identity. The twist was one of my only complaints (aside from the depictions of child abuse). It’s not that it was a bad twist, it’s just that it wasn’t clarified enough. The reader knows what happened, but the author skirts around the specifics. I re-read that particular part a couple times and still couldn’t piece it together. It frustrated me a bit considering the author doesn’t shy away from telling any other part of this story.
Overall, this is a solid thriller that I think would appeal to most fans of the genre. Thank you to the publisher for providing an ARC for review.