Ever wish that you just didn’t have to rate a book? That you could simply read it, ponder its significance, or lack thereof, and then…*gasp*…move on? For us avid reviewers here on Goodreads, that’s not really an option. We take our *job* very seriously, as we should, because there is an emptiness that lingers after finishing a book when we don’t outwardly express our thoughts in some way. It can almost feel as though we didn’t read the book at all…we become those trees, crashing down soundlessly in deserted forests.
But sometimes it’s hard being critical, dammit. And not every emotion can be adequately explained or fairly measured through a limited band of stars. I’ll give it a shot, though, so my experience with this book doesn’t friggen disintegrate.
I’m giving this book three and half stars, but it’s a really GOOD three and a half stars! I loved the premise of this story, and the writing in the beginning did a tremendous job pulling me in. It was impressive and had me flipping those pages like the animalistic page-flipper I can sometimes be, dying to know what was going on and where all the suspense was leading.
Lies, lies, lies…and then some more lies. That is the basis of this story. After her husband is killed in a plane crash, Iris learns that Will was not at all the man she thought he was. This book then becomes driven by Iris’s frantic chase of the truth, as she gathers shocking bits and pieces of her husband’s past and struggles to fit them all together.
This story expertly poses the question: Can you truly know someone if everything they’ve ever told you about themselves is a lie? And then attempts to answer this question through a plot overflowing with doubt and suspicion. You will question the validity of everything, and it is addicting, to say the least.
My qualms can best be expressed through a strange comparison of a beloved old game show I used to watch with my grandmother—The $10,000 Pyramid, with host, Dick Clark. I’m referring to the speed round at the end, when the winning pair of contestants guess at category titles listed on the pyramid. The answers typically go like this: “Things a mortician would say!”
While reading, I felt as though every single character in this book could have been neatly pressed inside one of those golden triangles of stereotypes on that pyramid. The criminals did and said what you’d expect them to. The lawyer was a textbook case. The psychologist said everything you’d expect a qualified psychologist to say. The gay man fit the hollywood stereotype to a T. The pretty, popular girl in high school was as generic as they come… and I think you get the point.
It felt like this author played strictly by the rules, not venturing too far outside the box while composing her cast of characters, and it didn’t really seem as if the use of stereotypes was necessary to enhance this plot (as sometimes is the case).
I know my complaint is pretty elaborate, but the thing is, I really did enjoy this read—namely the first half. The second half began to lose its spark a bit, but the first fifty percent or so was solid enjoyment. Then there’s the very ending…that final, tiny twist after the twist that sneaks in as quietly as a whisper, but changes the dynamic entirely. Kind of crazy—and I kind of loved it.
A good read that I’d recommend to thriller seekers! (And possibly The $10,000 Pyramid show lovers?)