The international best seller that "grabs the reader by the throat" (Crime Time).
First in the new series featuring Detective Inspector Helen Grace.
Two people are abducted, imprisoned, and left with a gun. As hunger and thirst set in, only one walks away alive.
It's a game more twisted than any Detective Inspector Helen Grace has ever seen. If she hadn't spoken with the shattered survivors herself, she almost wouldn't believe them.
Helen is familiar with the dark sides of human nature, including her own, but this case - with its seemingly random victims - has her baffled. But as more people go missing, nothing will be more terrifying than when it all starts making sense....
©2015 M. J. Arlidge (P)2015 Penguin Audio
I ignore genre labels. Some of my favorite books are outside my genre comfort zone. Listening to audiobooks is still reading. Not theater.
I wish I could pinpoint exactly what bothered me so much about this book . I think the problem is there were so many things that bothered me, I cannot boil them down into a single concise reason.
I will start with the primary narrator. While she calmed down as the book progressed, she started out so enthusiastic and overly dramatic that I couldn't get into the mind set of a serious, dark piece of fiction. I admit I like my audiobooks read to me by someone with an easy to listen to voice that seems to fit the mood of the book. I do not like them dramatized and if the narrator of the book is perky and enthusiastic, then the mood of the book better be as well.
Next, if you are writing a book that you intend to be the first in a series focusing on a single character, then you need to introduce a character that readers want to know more about. They don't necessarily have to love or even like them. But they have to be curious enough about what happen's next in that characters life so they want to read the next book. Unfortunately, I not only didn't love or like Helen Grace, I thought she was a one-dimensional caricature of every shallow but beautiful policewoman I've ever seen on any TV show. Once I learned that the author had a background writing for television his description of his heroine made sense. He created a character that might look good, but lacked any substance what so ever.
She wasn't a tortured soul. She wasn't compassionate, She wasn't tough. She was a lousy manager. She wasn't brilliant. She was a pretty bad detective and a very boring character. She did ride a motorcycle and engaged in mild S&M. Unfortunately those two "facts" aren't nearly enough to make her interesting. I cannot imagine reading another book about her.
The plot line wasn't terribly inventive and it just kept repeating itself over and over. The only characters less developed and less interesting than the victims of the crimes was Helen Grace.
And the author had real difficulty with his timeline. There were too many instances where it sounded as if someone had been held captive 6 to 8 weeks, but when the author switched back to the police investigation, people were evidently being kidnapped and almost starving to death every 48 hours or so,
I think it boils down to the author just didn't have the skills to write a good, suspenseful mystery. And that is too bad. I would love another series with a strong female detective.
I wasn't in love with this book. The back made it seem like everything was going to be so twisted and it was but not really. I felt disconnected from the characters and didn't see much growth throughout the story. I MIGHT read the next one.
A long time reader and listener - I just can't get enough of Audible! (Especially mysteries and Buddhist texts and history and ...etc!
Definitely from the narrators - they did a superior job, and were the only reason I finished the book.
Maybe. Just maybe. But more likely, not. The author really needs to hone his craft. As one earlier reviewer mentioned, there were strange jumps in this book, where the lead character seems to know something and does something, and it comes out of the blue.
Perhaps his later books are better written?? Not sure. This book could have been good - there were interesting and even compelling characters, a creepy killer, and all the right ingredients to a good detective mystery novel.
However, it really fell short due to poor story-telling/ weak weaving in of the details.
The narrators were the only reason I stuck with the book. They brought the characters to life, gave them personality, and made the story seem better than it otherwise would have been.
Well, I won't listen to it again. But as I stayed busy and this was playing in the background, I don't resent it too much.
I enjoy spy, military, psychological, technical and fiction based in reality and science. I really value intimate, thorough writing.
The story was great. The writing was terrible. The tale is told in the most boring way possible. Its a story about a detective but there is NO mystery. The writer gives you NOTHING to ponder with. You are simply spoon fed little tid bits and blatantly starved of others. It was one long book of peek a boo. So there is no gratification as things are found out because its like reading a wikipedia article.
The narrator(s) were just fantastic. The only thing that made this bearable. Their performances genuinely wowed me.
Any of the reveals or big finds in the case. The writer would just omit the info completely then present it to us (for the first time) as if it were a conclusion. Unrealistic. And every clutch point in the story was the exact same, killing the suspense.
Example. No spoilers.
Mickey Mouse finds his friends beat to death with a tennis rackets. 100 chapters later Mickey remembers he played tennis as a kid.
Mickey Mouse goes to fight Bugs Bunny. We have been talking about bugs for 10 chapters. Bugs is a KUNG FU EXPERT, JUST NOW, BE SHOCKED.
Mickey Mouse looks in the mirror and takes off his mask. Turns out hes been Fred Flintstone the whole time. Fred Flintstone isn't even a Disney character or anthropomorphic.
The writing was just terrible for such good story. It doesn't involve you at all. It begs you to be sad and to be tense to be curious instead of making you feel that way.
The plot develops at a good pace. Slowly adding information as it goes on. My preference is to get it going quicker and keep it going at a steady pace--so it was a bit slower than I like. And repetitive and then predictable in the nature of the violence. The primary character, although, didn't really develop into a three dimensional person until much later...and maybe not even then. A worthwhile read--but not one I would do twice.
I didn't hate it, but from start to finish I just kept thinking how convoluted the whole story was. -Too many hoops to go through makes too many loop holes!
It did hold my interest, and I liked the interwoven point of view of the serial killer, but I really would have liked it to be dialed down a little.
I loved the narrator of this book. She was amaxing...I found myself getting butterflies as the suspense would build. She read with sucjlh emotion. Great storyline too!!!
This is one of the worst books I have read many years. Dark depressing and the characters have no redeeming qualities. The snotty comments about America were not appreciated
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