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Victoria Reads Books

Global citizen, adventurer, ponderer. Lover of coffee, books, and the Oxford comma. Infected by wanderlust, enchanted by stories. Might occasionally be a photo blog.

Currently reading

Jane Austen
Progress: 230/412 pages
Le Petit Prince
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Eight Great Comedies
Sylvan Barnet, Morton Berman, William Burton
The Longman Anthology of Short Fiction, Compact Edition: Stories and Authors in Context
Dana Gioia, R.S. Gwynn
Anna Karenina
Leo Tolstoy, Louise Maude, Aylmer Maude, E.B. Greenswood
Rage Against the Dying - Becky Masterman
This book has the honour of joining Bret Easton Ellis’s [b:American Psycho|28676|American Psycho|Bret Easton Ellis|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1348400564s/28676.jpg|2270060] on my shelf of ‘Books Not to Read While Eating’.

I was intrigued from the very first page, when we are forced into the mind of a rapist/serial killer stalking his next victim. Masterman skilfully chooses the perfect words that will make you squirm (the dude in question seriously creepy). Later, we find out how this is connected to the main plotline. This book is a psychological mystery thriller that holds little back in terms of describing crime scenes and dead bodies. What makes this story unique is the protagonist, Brigid Quinn, who is certainly not a typical heroine. A somewhat brusque and determined 59-year-old, Brigid has recently settled down with her new husband Carlo. He knows little of her FBI history, and she hopes to keep it that way. However, when a man turns himself in for a case from Brigid’s past, Brigid is once again thrust into a world of violence and criminal investigations. When her hubris causes her to make a series of errors, and with everyone seemingly against her, Brigid has nothing to use but the lethal skills that she has obtained over the years and her own intuition to finally solve the high-stakes case that has been plaguing her for years.

This book is remarkably compelling to read. The unique protagonist allows the reader to have an interesting perspective in the story – Brigid is definitely what will make this particular mystery thriller stand out from others of the same genre. I was impressed with how the author managed to bring the three antagonists together. However, I think it would’ve been nice to have a bit more of Emery’s character revealed; we got to see directly into the mind of Gerald in the prologue, and we follow Lynch throughout a large portion of the book. Despite this, the reveal of Emery as the primary antagonist was immensely satisfying (although I did figure it out a bit before Brigid did). The climax of the story was intensely gripping – I could definitely see this as an episode of a crime show or something of the like.

Overall, this is a great read for those who enjoy gripping mysteries and don’t mind reading about rape/necrophilia/sexualized elderly ladies/torture/murder.

Entertainment value: 5/5
Writing quality/style: 3.5/5
Readability: 2/5 (5 being the most difficult to read)
Characters (depth/development): 4/5
Plot: 5/5

Random Sidenotes:

- I have to admit that I’m not a huge fan of the cover.
- I hope that Brigid is intended to be unfamiliar with internet lingo, or that the part in the book where she tells someone to ‘twitter me’ is changed to ‘tweet’ in the finished book.
- Despite being familiar with the poem in question, it took me an awkwardly long time to make the connection with what the title of this book was referencing.

I received an ARC of this through the Goodreads First Reads program. This has not influenced my opinions about the book in any way. My ARC reviews will not contain critiques of grammar or wording, as they will be written with the assumption that the errors will be corrected by the time the finished book is distributed.