Trainwreck: Book One - Michele Micheal R...
Book – Trainwreck
Author – Michele Michael Rakes
Star rating - ★★★★★
No. of Pages – 374
Cover – Fitting
POV – 3rd person, multiple people, all confined to their own scenes
Would I read it again – Definitely.
Genre – Crime, Dark, Suspense
** I WAS GIVEN THIS BOOK, BY THE AUTHOR, IN RETURN FOR AN HONEST REVIEW **
Reviewed for Divine Magazine
TRIGGER WARNINGS: eludes to child rape, with some scenes on page. Torture, kidnap, suicide, drug use, alcoholism, child abuse, pain play, erotic asphyxiation, violent drunk, dead child, BDSM, cheating
Warning #2: This is the first half of a story. I don't mean part 1, but literally one half. It stops abruptly, with a cliffhanger. So, be warned.
Okay, so this is a bit darker than some of my recent reads, but it totally takes me back to some of my early reads from this year. The pain and torment of the main character is the driving force. But, you know what? The first thing that really struck me when I started this book was the brutally honest and touching Dedication and Acknowledgements. They made me want to love this book and the author. And, I do.
Forget romance, forget all those mushy feelings you want from an MM romance. This isn't it. This is a super hard hitting, edgy, dark read, with one heck of a twisted main character. But, amongst all of that – buried beneath the pain and the torture – is a man who is crumbling to pieces and who isn't quite sane anymore. And he hasn't been for a long time.
Vince's past is an enigma that takes a long time to figure out. As the case progresses, so does our understanding of this very complex man. Sure, he's a total man whore, but I love how the author makes it very clear why he's like that. He has desires and needs that he feels he can't share with his wife, which is perfectly understandable. As is his fear that to tell her would mean the end of their already fragile relationship.
At heart, Vince is supremely complicated – dyslexic, suicidal and prone to self harm, he's a man who can't control himself. From a young age, he's done everything to protect his wife, even when that meant taking so much worse than beatings, to keep her safe. He's a broken child, suffering as an adult. Not only the loss of his child, a fractured marriage and a case that hits far too close to home, but he suffers sexual secrets and mental and physical scars that he can't explain.
Vince and Nick are brilliant characters. So vast and deep; they both have these tangled webs of emotions that are slowly explored throughout the story. The contrast is almost painful. Nick is living the perfect life – married with kids and a career he loves – that Vince has always wanted. And almost had.
When it comes to the other characters, I really like Mattie and Momma. I really hate Angela, the judgemental ass that she is, and Beck. Obviously, I hate the bad guys (not telling you who they are!) but I find it really creepy and interesting that we get their POV. I've read the POV of sadists and rapists in stories before and normally it just makes me want to scream and throw the book away. But, somehow, this one delves deep into that psyche and makes you curious enough to keep going. At the same time, we're given the POV of the victims, as they're being tortured, which is also new.
At 5% I was already in tears. Reading how much Vince missed Mary, his daughter, really made an impact. Not only because it was so powerfully written, but also because it reminded me of the dedication and how real all these emotions are. This isn't fiction; it's one persons soul poured out onto paper. And that's moving. Then again, I also cried at the Momma and Vince talk on the porch.
Quite honestly, I haven't seen any MM sex here. This isn't an MM story, at all. I wouldn't even class it as anywhere in that genre. The MC just happens to be bisexual and has had sex with men before. So, if you read this expecting a big sweeping MM love story or even the hint of one, you'll be disappointed. It doesn't happen. There is, however, a mass of MF sex scenes and all are explicit.
Overall, this book tackles some seriously hard core issues, with one seriously messed up trainwreck of a man. It's masterfully unapologetic in depicting the dark lives it delves into and exploring the harsh realities of abuse victims and the lasting effects that abuse can have on a child. It's a fantastic, dark, twisted story about child abuse with a strong criminal investigation woven into the tale. This book deserves to be read by everyone.
P.S. If there's one negative thing I'd say about this book it's that it's not placed in the right genre. I don't see any MM relationship even close to forming, so I wouldn't class it as MM, gay romance or anything like that. At a stretch, it's an LGBT book because of a bisexual MC. But, I have assurances that the MM relationship will come in book 2, so I've got my fingers crossed.
Oh, and I liked it so much that I bought book 2 before I'd even reached 80%. Now I get to go straight into the continuation of the story.
““I'm afraid you won't love me,” he said to the empty room. “If you really knew me, you'd run.””