this book is absolutely what I needed from the Crime & Mystery genre, after an underwhelming effort from Freeman Wills Crofts--an author I generally enjoy reading, but who doesn't flesh out his characters much more than is necessary to present his whodunit puzzle.
there is something I should stop doing, though: looking up reviews of books that I'm about to read, and seeing the negative ones. it puts me a little in fear of starting a book that I originally was excited to hear about--probably from one source that recommended it--and presets, in my mind, what I'm supposed to find disappointing. and multiple reviews that seem to react unhappily to the same characteristics in a book sure do build up a preconceived notion...
nevertheless, whether I break the habit of exploring widespread reaction to a book just before committing to it, or not, I am finding that in many cases I'm glad I read the book--which means I'm glad for the original good review, or list of recommended reading, that first made me aware of the book. and I've learned not to expect all the reviews I scan to be positive and glowing with enthusiasm. most of these books seem to get a split decision; it's just that I have happened upon one of the critics or list-makers who liked or loved it. I've also discovered that I may even agree with some of the specific "weaknesses" of a book, but not feel that the problems in a book tear the whole thing down to the extent that it wasn't worth reading, or worth an overall negative assessment from me. it's hard to find perfection, so I don't really look for it. and reading Freeman Wills Crofts, followed by something likes this, makes me appreciate the variety of approaches--especially as it has evolved in genres over the years as times change and people demand something fresh, different--and makes me realize that no one author can offer all things in one book. if they play to their strengths, and maybe risk a cool experiment now and then, I tend to have a good time with what's on offer.
anyway, I'm totally drawn into Alice's story here--this is a very involving, engaging portrait of a young drowning victim who left behind enough of a social-media footprint for a perhaps-oddly-obsessive former Prof of hers to pry into her life and secrets after she's gone. I love it. hypnotic stuff, and thank goodness for complex fictional characters! don't got those, and you better have something else wonderful on offer...
I don't seem to want to read anything other than Crime & Mystery novels these days; I don't usually go this long before being in the mood for SF or Fantasy, or Horror, etc.--but I'm just going to fly with this feeling and see where it takes me. when I need a change, I'll know.
love the cover on this book, shall see if the story itself can match it!
Two and a half star rating.
Alice and Jake, a couple of newly weds sign “The Pact” as they thought it would be a bit of harmless fun. It turns out to be a mysterious, sinister group with rules, regulations and punishment if anyone transgresses. The description and start drew me in initially but there were too many details about irrelevant things which interrupted the flow and spoilt what would have been a cracking story. It was an excellent idea and normally this is exactly what I like to read, but sadly I’m just a bit ambivalent about it.
Original heading: The Marriage Pact - progress 0%
Noooooooooooooooooooo I hate first-person-present-tense!
I'm going to wait until after the this first scene to make sure the whole book isn't like this. If so I'm DNFing this and giving it the lowest possible rating.
The good news is that the FP-present-tense only lasted for the 1st chapter, and the remainder that I was able to read was normal FP-past-tense. The bad news is that, after 6 chapters and 36 minutes of audio (yes I was checking my watch), it just wasn't very interesting. I didn't know anything about the characters except their occupations and their wedding, and frankly didn't give a rip what The Pact was, or why it matters, or what happened to the couple.
DNF at 5%.
Audiobook, borrowed from my public library. Tom Taylorson's performance was okay.