“There are countless moments in the average life when you have to decide whether to open yourself up or bury yourself deep. In love, at work, among your family, with friends, there are moments when you have to decide whether you are ready to reveal your true self.”
Whilst I was reading this book I absolutely adored it! I raced through it so quickly as I just had to know what was going to happen. However looking back I definitely have some issues with it. The predominant being the characters, or more precisely the excess of characters. The main crime involves (don’t worry this isn’t a spoiler) kidnapping two people, trapping them without food or water and leaving a gun with one bullet as their only hope of escaping; due to this there are a lot of characters. Each pair get their own little story and there were quite a few pairs. Add to that all the members on the police force such as DI Helen Grace and Mark Fuller and then also a couple of family members, friends and journalists like Charlie Brooks and you’re going to find yourself a little lost. The reason this didn’t really work was that in a crime thriller the pace is quick, you don’t have enough time to get attached and so often you’re not as horrified by some of the pretty horrific things that take place.
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The story in itself is very enjoyable. Ignoring all the deviations due to the mass of characters the plot was intense and gripping. The crimes that took place were truly horrible to read – that’s a good thing! – and for the most part it was a really clever read! M.J. Arlidge makes spectacular use of deception, there’s a particular ‘thing’ that is purposefully misleading and it was brilliant when it was finally revealed. It had a really good pace and you’re not spoon-fed clues which in my own opinion is a bonus. The writing style was consistent and enthralling, the chapters are very short and tend to switch POV which ,depending on how they were done or who it was talking, could be both highly entertaining or plain irritating.
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Despite the surplus of characters and minor inconsistencies I really did enjoy this book. I would recommend it to crime thriller lovers as long as they’re not particularly squeamish as this is definitely ‘dark and twisted’! It might not be the best book you ever read but it’ll certainly be a lot of fun!