I found a depth and profundity in this book that I was not expecting, to be honest. In fact, I’m going to call this book a novel, because it deserves it. There, I said it. This book is a novel. N-O-V-E-L.
And, to be frank, I found this novel to be rather brilliant, especially in comparison to many of the bestseller literary fiction out there nowadays. It gave me some of the same feelings I’ve had when reading authors who dabble in magical realism, like Gabriel Garcia Marquez or Milan Kundera. Although this story doesn’t contain those same elements, there’s something about its broad scope, its epic scale and its dizzying exploration of single moments in one life and how they relate to the larger whole of humanity. For lack of a better word, like the work of those other authors, this book is mind-expanding because of how it deftly narrows then broadens its focus.
And the way time is stretched and compressed in the story...this is what I loved most, I think!
Its experiment with time wasn’t just about non-linear storytelling, which is a dime a dozen with commercial thrillers these days. It was the way in which it stretched forward for decades within the span of one sentence, giving you a glimpse into the death of a character’s young son years from now, for instance, before snapping right back into the ‘present,’ in which the character is fully unaware of the fate of his son. It jumped around between past, present and future so often that as a reader, I kept remembering that time is a human construct that doesn’t actually exist, at least - perhaps - not in the way we think of it. And that humanity continues to repeat the same things, over and over again. The novel didn’t allow you to get absorbed in one character or one particular mystery. It forced you to be pulled back over and over again and see the larger picture. The larger truths about the human experience. The focus expanded in and out, in and out, in and out…..
I’ve read some reviews in which readers were not fans of this book, and I can understand your disappointment if you go into it hoping for a commercial thriller. This book is NOT a that. It is only one part mystery and about four parts meditations on life.
I’ll be thinking about it, and processing it, for days...which is exactly the type of art I love :)
Hailed as a “marvel of a book” and “brilliant and unflinching,” Alexis Schaitkin’s stunning debut, Saint X, is a haunting portrait of grief, obsession, and the bond between two sisters never truly given the chance to know one another.
Thank big thank you to Celadon Books and Macmillan Publishers for the ARC!
This hits the shelves tomorrow (Feb 18)!
I finished this and typed up my thoughts about it while on a cross country flight, then landed only to realize that everything I’d written was somehow lost because Google Drive failed to save it. What I’d written was brilliant and insightful (naturally), but instead of getting that, you’re gonna get this:
This was a great mystery that had me hooked from the beginning. Graham Moore’s writing is very tight, and I would describe his storytelling as cerebral. It is more about analysis and strategy, and less about emotion and character development. More head than heart. At times, this left me feeling a little cold while reading it, but the plot and themes were so interesting that I could easily look past any chilliness.
This story explores how very gray the justice system can be, especially when it comes to verdicts being decided by juries. The entire process is not about getting to the truth; it is about winning an argument in whatever way possible, including presenting fiction as fact. It allowed me to understand a bit more how juries actually operate and what dirty tactics defense attorneys and prosecutors may resort to at times. I also very much appreciated some of the truthful exploration of racial issues and racial tension in this, as well as how the story highlighted the inequities in our justice system when it comes to socioeconomic status.
The pacing was great, there were some good surprises and the ending wrapped up in a very tidy, satisfying and ‘Hollywood’ type of way. If you like mysteries, thrillers and court room dramas, you should definitely give this a read!!
It’s the most sensational case of the decade. Fifteen-year-old Jessica Silver, heiress to a billion-dollar real estate fortune, vanishes on her way home from school, and her teacher, Bobby Nock, a twenty-five-year-old African American man, is the prime suspect. The subsequent trial taps straight into America’s most pressing preoccupations: race, class, sex, law enforcement, and the lurid sins of the rich and famous. It’s an open-and-shut case for the prosecution, and a quick conviction seems all but guaranteed—until Maya Seale, a young woman on the jury, convinced of Nock’s innocence, persuades the rest of the jurors to return the verdict of not guilty, a controversial decision that will change all their lives forever.
Flash forward ten years. A true-crime docuseries reassembles the jury, with particular focus on Maya, now a defense attorney herself. When one of the jurors is found dead in Maya’s hotel room, all evidence points to her as the killer. Now, she must prove her own innocence—by getting to the bottom of a case that is far from closed.
As the present-day murder investigation weaves together with the story of what really happened during their deliberation, told by each of the jurors in turn, the secrets they have all been keeping threaten to come out—with drastic consequences for all involved.
A huge thank you to Random House and NetGalley for the ARC!
Okay, I could say a whole heck of a lot in praise of this book, but I don’t want to give anything away from your experience of it, should you choose to read it. (And you should!) So, I’m keeping this brief.
She tried to run, but she can’t escape the other Mrs.
Sadie and Will Foust have only just moved their family from bustling Chicago to small-town Maine when their neighbor Morgan Baines is found dead in her home. The murder rocks their tiny coastal island, but no one is more shaken than Sadie.
But it’s not just Morgan’s death that has Sadie on edge. And as the eyes of suspicion turn toward the new family in town, Sadie is drawn deeper into the mystery of what really happened that dark and deadly night. But Sadie must be careful, for the more she discovers about Mrs. Baines, the more she begins to realize just how much she has to lose if the truth ever comes to light.
One of Mary Kubica’s greatest strengths is character creation and development. The characters in this are boldly drawn and very passionate, yet totally believable. Every moment feels high stakes and important for them. Kubica allows us to get into their hearts and heads, with an unflinching look at the truth of human nature and needs.
Also, I think the pacing and plotting of this thriller is exceptional. And just about every character in this story seems dangerous and untrustworthy, which is always fun!
This was my first read by Mary Kubica, and I definitely want to go back and read others, especially The Good Girl!
A huge thank you to NetGalley and Harlequin for the ARC!
This gem of a thriller hits the shelves on February 18. Don’t miss it!
Psychologist Alex Delaware and detective Milo Sturgis struggle to make sense of a seemingly inexplicable massacre in this electrifying psychological thriller from the #1 New York Times bestselling master of suspense.
This whodunit has a tone and dialogue that is slick and cool, a noir-esque cynicism about humanity and a wide array of odd and boldly sketched characters that reflect the ‘types’ you might find in Los Angeles.
And I LOVED that. I really adored some of the strange supporting characters and thought they were brilliantly created. Maybe it’s because my nearly 20 years in LA makes me go YES, those people really do exist!! 🤣
Some people may complain that for a book being billed as a psychological thriller, there isn’t enough character development, to which I say, THAT ISN’T THE POINT!
This ride is all about getting the clues, chasing the leads and nailing the bad guys (or girls), all in a snappy, gritty, hardboiled way that makes you want to pour yourself two fingers of bourbon, get under a weighted blanket and never leave the house again. Oh wait, maybe that’s just me... I also sort felt like I got a fun (and harrowing) inside look at the LAPD homicide unit.
Man, I don’t know how people do that as a career without going over the deep end or just utterly losing faith in humanity. Anyway, if you love detective stories, Los Angeles or noir, check this out!! It will definitely give you some chills and a few shocks.
A huge THANK YOU to #netgalley and #themuseumofdesire for the ARC!
I massively enjoyed it!!